Cut off without a penny


      • Financial ruin
        Describing someone who has lost all their money and is left with nothing

      • Disinheritance
        Referring to being left with no inheritance or financial support from a family member or benefactor

      • Complete deprivation
        Expressing the idea of being completely without any resources or means of support

    Examples of Cut off without a penny

    • Jane was cut off without a penny after her father passed away. She had to sell their family estate and move into a small apartment to make ends meet.

      In this example, "cut off without a penny" means that Jane suddenly lost all her financial support due to her father's death. This phrase implies that Jane's resources or funds were abruptly cut off, leaving her without any money.

    • Max's parents suddenly lost their jobs and had to cut off his allowance completely. As a result, Max had to start working part-time to support himself through college.

      The phrase "cut off" in this example refers to Max's allowance, which was abruptly stopped by his parents' job loss. This caused Max to lose his source of income, forcing him to find alternative means of support.

    • The company's sales had been declining for months, and the owners decided to cut off all unnecessary expenses. They vowed to do whatever it took to turn the company around, even if it meant cutting their own salaries in half.

      In this example, "cut off" refers to the company's expenses, which were discontinued or reduced to help the company stay afloat during a difficult period. The phrase "cut off" implies that the expenses were abruptly eliminated or terminated, leaving only essential expenditures.

    • Emma's parents refused to help her pay for her wedding when she got engaged. They told her that she had to find a way to finance the wedding herself, and that they would not provide any financial assistance whatsoever.

      In this example, "cut off" implies that Emma's parents abruptly stopped providing financial support for her wedding plans. This phrase suggests that Emma was left to fend for herself and find other means of financing her wedding without the help of her parents.

    • The company laid off half of its staff, leaving many employees cut off without a penny.

      When a company "lays off" employees, it means that they are firing them. In this instance, the company fired half of its workforce, leaving many former employees without any source of income or financial support. They are "cut off without a penny", which means they have no money or resources to sustain themselves.

    • After the accident, the victim was stranded in the wilderness for days, cut off without a penny.

      The victim of an accident became lost in the wilderness and was unable to find help. Since they had no money with them, they were "cut off without a penny" - they had no means of purchasing food, water, or other supplies needed to survive. They were essentially stranded until help arrived.

    • The athlete lost her job and her savings all at once, leaving her cut off without a penny.

      The athlete, who may have been relying on her job and savings as sources of income, suddenly found herself in a dire financial situation. She was left "cut off without a penny" because she no longer had a job and had spent all of her savings, leaving her without any resources to support herself.

    • The old man's pension was cut off without a penny, leaving him in dire straits.

      The old man, who may have been receiving a pension as part of his retirement, had that pension suddenly discontinued ("cut off") without warning. This left him without any income or financial support, forcing him into poverty and hardship ("cut off without a penny").


    The idiom "cut off without a penny" is often used to describe someone who has experienced financial ruin, disinheritance, or complete deprivation. It conveys the idea of being left with nothing and emphasizes the severity of the situation.

    This idiom can be used in a variety of contexts, such as describing someone who has lost all their money due to a bad investment or someone who has been cut off from their family's wealth. It can also be used more broadly to describe someone who is facing extreme financial hardship or struggles to make ends meet.

    Origin of "Cut off without a penny"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 18th century in England. During this time, inheritance laws were strict and often favored the eldest son, leaving other family members with little or no inheritance. This meant that many people, especially women, were left with no financial support after the death of a family member.

    The phrase "cut off without a penny" was first used in the book "The History of Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding in 1749. In the novel, the character Bridget Allworthy is cut off from her inheritance by her uncle and is left with no money or prospects. This usage of the phrase gained popularity and eventually became a common idiom in English.

    Today, the idiom is still used to describe financial hardship or deprivation, although it can also be used in a more figurative sense to describe being left with nothing in any aspect of life. Its origin in inheritance laws highlights the idea of being left with nothing and conveys a sense of loss and desperation.