What does this mean? I'm English and I've never come across the meaning!
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In for a penny, in for a pound (idiom):
Americanized form: "In for a dime, in for a dollar."
It's an idiom for indicating that you might as well commit fully to the venture being referenced.
That's my take on it anyway.
What it actually means is related to crime: if you steal a penny and will go to jail for it, you may as well steal a pound. Either way you're in as in in jail (or gaol, depending on which side of the Atlantic will be prosecuting you). It obviously hails from a time when a penny and a pound were worth much more than they are today.
So if you've already violated a principle to any degree, it doesn't matter how far you go past the violation threshold, so you may as well derive maximum benefit.
I've also heard the related proverb (with a slightly different twist, though): “he that steals an egg will steal an ox”.
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Jun 5 '12 at 8:45
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