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November 19, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

A penny for your thoughts

lost in thought

I know I am guilty of anthropomorphism (a lovely word) but this young gull appears lost in thought as it looks out to sea on a sunny day; much like myself.

I wondered if the expression ‘a penny for your thoughts’ is widely used outside the UK. So in case it isn’t, it means ‘I wonder what are you thinking’, literally I will give you a penny if you tell me what you are thinking. It’s a very old expression and inflation would probably make that a £10 note now.



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  1. heila2013 / Nov 19 2013 8:52 pm

    A lovely bird. I admit that I had to look up the word… 🙂

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 19 2013 8:59 pm

      Thank you. You reminded me to put up an explanation.

      • heila2013 / Nov 19 2013 9:02 pm

        I learned a new word… thank YOU. 🙂

      • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 19 2013 9:37 pm

        You’re welcome. I thought you meant the expression in the title but I suspect you meant ‘anthropomorphism’. I think many of us do it.

      • heila2013 / Nov 19 2013 9:56 pm

        Yes, I meant ‘anthropomorphism’. I know anthropology and morphism but combined they didn’t make sense to me. Right, many of us do it and it can be extremely funny. 😉 ‘A penny for your thoughts’ is self-explanatory… Good night. Heila

      • heila2013 / Nov 19 2013 9:58 pm

        …inflation would probably make that a £10 note now… ha ha, good one. 🙂

  2. amithi / Nov 19 2013 8:53 pm

    I believe 9 out of 10 gulls are plotting. They have that slightly shifty look. 😉

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 19 2013 8:59 pm

      Indeed they do and very, very intelligent. I admire their pluckiness, though not when they are trying to steal my lunch.

  3. dflorack / Nov 19 2013 9:26 pm

    That’s one of my favorite things to do – anthropomorphism.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 19 2013 9:43 pm

      Mine too. I suspect animals do actually have a much wider range of emotions than many humans give them credit for. For example, one of my greyhounds has been ill and had to spend some time at the vets. When I brought her home yesterday, the other greeted her companion with such joy and excitement, there was no other way to express it. Now, those are human emotions but that is what I saw.

      • dflorack / Nov 20 2013 1:43 am

        I believe it. I talk to my pets as if they are human. They are my children, too. I talk to the critters in the yard, too. My family is used to me, but the neighbors probably think I’m loopy. I don’t care.

      • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 20 2013 8:30 am

        A love of animals is very special. I think they understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

  4. navery101 / Nov 19 2013 9:30 pm

    Yes, here in the states it is a common phrase…and I agree; a penny would barely get you a “sigh” today 🙂

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 19 2013 9:44 pm

      Yes, people don’t even bother picking pennies off the floor nowadays, never mind confessing their innermost secrets.

  5. trulymebeingme / Nov 19 2013 9:44 pm

    That is a great word…..and I too am guilty 🙂

  6. Sweet as a Picture / Nov 20 2013 2:23 am

    Handsome fella. He’s probably thinking, “Oh, what a beautiful day!” : )

  7. Gallivanta / Nov 20 2013 4:15 am

    A penny for your thoughts……haven’t heard that in a long while.

  8. Penny Houghton / Nov 20 2013 11:33 am

    We certainly have that saying in Australia (from the English immigrants no doubt!). I hear it probably more than others, as my name is Penny!

  9. artourway / Nov 20 2013 4:12 pm

    Give it away

  10. Heather / Nov 20 2013 4:33 pm

    he looks as though he is thinking about going fishing! yes, we use the penny for your thoughts…it has been around forever I think! 🙂 by the way, had to look up the word… 😉

  11. Joanne / Nov 20 2013 9:23 pm

    A penny indeed but that word, anthropomorphism… I’m definitely going to slip that one into the conversation tonight with the family over dinner!

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Nov 20 2013 9:26 pm

      Good luck with that. You could try slipping in antidisestablishmentarianism too and see if anyone notices.

      • Joanne / Nov 20 2013 9:50 pm

        Ha ha, now there’s a challenge but maybe not as I fear I’d cut my mouth following the extraction of such a large word! 🙂

  12. Coloured-Windows by katleenj / Nov 21 2013 9:29 am

    Nice post and nice thoughts and yessss I understood the expression, in my mother language we have something equal, but I guess the bird won’t tell you his secret, not even for a million 😉

  13. smilingtoad / Nov 22 2013 3:01 pm

    Too many grins, wonderful image and little commentary. I often loom with the gulls here, in the morn, gazing out at the silver waves. Beautiful. Many cheers,

    Autumn Jade

  14. groovy777 / Dec 12 2013 3:57 pm

    Great pic!

  15. hitandrun1964 / Dec 12 2013 4:41 pm

    Yes, that question is asked in the Chicago area as well. Not as much as it used to be but we know it:) Lovely gull.

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