Green’s Dictionary of Slang

two cents’ worth n.

also two cents

1. (US) a little, a trivial amount, thus not give two cents, to care minimally if at all.

[US]H. Garland Boy Life on the Prairie 159: I’ll knock the everlasting spots offen ’im f’r two cents.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 70: Fur two cents I’d quit ’em.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 71: Makes surburban real-estate look like two cents!
[UK]‘Leslie Charteris’ Enter the Saint 43: You’re going to see a sample of rough-housing that’ll make your bunch of third-rate hoodlums look like two cents’ worth of oxtail.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Tobias the Terrible’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 112: For two cents I will give all you wrong gees a good going-over.
[US]D. Runyon ‘For a Pal’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 573: Blind Benny does not care two cents about the cap business.
Amer. Wool and Cotton Reporter 14 Apr. 41/1: We wouldn’t give two cents for the President’s Committee of Economic Advisors [DA].
[US]W.D. Myers Hoops 85: ‘I can’t stand to see nobody [...] carrying on at no funeral when they didn’t give two cents for the body when it had life in it’ .

2. one’s personal opinion, a remark about a topic.

[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 262: Nobody asked you for your two cents’ worth.
[US]D. Fuchs Low Company 19: Who the hell asked you to throw your two cents in?
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘A Teamster’s Payday’ in To Whom It May Concern 65: Porky, when we ask you for your two-cents’ worth, put it in the collection box then, and only then.
[US]A. Kober Parm Me 20: Dope! [...] Somebody ask you to stick in your two cents in committee-meeting?
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 18: Hell, I had to get in my two cents’ worth. It wouldn’t be any fun if I couldn’t sound off when I felt like it.
[US]B. Appel Tough Guy [ebook] Punks and bootleggers and tinhorn gamblers—all had their two cents to say.
[US]Kerouac letter 25 Mar. in Charters II (1999) 360: [from Mémêre] I can’t top it but here’s my 2 cents worth.
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 252: It’s just that your grandma always [...] has to get her two cents in.
[Aus]A. Buzo The Roy Murphy Show (1973) 122: No one asked you to butt in with your two cents worth of powdered crap.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 82: Russell finishes his story and his wife gets her two cents’ worth in.
[US]J. Stahl Permanent Midnight 39: Herb [...] always had the same two cents to throw in in any discussion.
[Aus]T. Peacock More You Bet 7: The language of gambling and racing permeated the everyday language of the people. [...] one might have heard someone say [...] ‘So-and-so’s in for his sixpence worth,’ or ‘in for his two bob’s worth’.

3. one’s share or allowance of a given treat.

[UK]W. Eyster Far from the Customary Skies 260: Pop was sore he hadn’t had his two cents’ worth. Pop liked them young. Ask Mom, she knew.

In phrases

put in one’s two cents’ (worth) (v.) (also …three cent’s worth, (UK) …twopennorth, …two bob’s worth)

(mostly US) to make a contribution, usu. gratuitous and/or malicious, to an argument or conversation.

[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 304: Then I put in my three cent’s worth.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 132: Who asked you to put in your two cents?
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 73: Katie [...] already putting her two cents into it.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 50: It’s time for me to put in my two cents worth.
[US]Larner & Tefferteller Addict in the Street (1966) 103: I would put in my two cents and help the teacher.
[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 133: I used to go along every other Tuesday [...] and put in what Mick would call ‘my two penn’orth.’.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 9: ‘That’s right,’ Duke yelled, putting his two cents in.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 137: I was beginning to feel a little left out of things so I put in my twopen’orth.
[UK]F. Taylor Auf Wiedersehen Pet Two 211: Everyone else put in their two bob’s worth and Dennis finally agreed.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 198: DD had certainly got her two-bob’s worth in.
[Aus]J. Birmingham Tasmanian Babes Fiasco (1998) 52: Gloria followed them out [...] To put her two bob’s worth in.
[US]A.N. LeBlanc Random Family 397: Before long, everyone was putting in their two cents.