Passing Phrase -

Lo Shaveh Grush

Literally: Not worth a cent
Idiomatically: Worthless

The "grush" was a coin used by the Ottoman Empire and was continued to be used even after its breakup in many countries. When it was first introduced in 1688 it was a large silver piece. It slowly began to lose its value until it was worth almost nothing. In the 1950's, the coin of 5 "prutot" was known as a "chatsi grush" and you needed 1000 prutot to equal a "lira." Now that we have the numismatics lesson out of the way - you get the idea that it wasn’t very valuable to say the least. The word "shaveh" שווה means worth or value in slang, but there are many other meanings including equal to, agreed upon, and worthwhile (see the phrase "lo shaveh"). This phrase is often used in a demeaning manner:

עבודה זו לא שווה גרוש.

"Avodah zu lo shaveh grush."

This work isn’t worth a cent.

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