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Penny for the guy?

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rachaelersk | 18:46 Sun 30th Oct 2005 | Phrases & Sayings
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Why do people ask for a penny for the guy? i have heard it alot but have just been discussing it with friends and none of us knew. Ideas? Anyone?

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I think it comes from the following rhyme:


Guy, Guy, Guy;


Stick him up on high;


Hang him on a lamp post


And leave him there to die;


Ladies and gentlemen, you will never grow fat


If you don't put a penny in the old Guy's hat.

Or it could come from the rhyme

Remember ,remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder ,treason and plot..
I see no reason why gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot

The first line of the second verse is

A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.

And so it goes on.. but it is probably a bit un PC to put the rest !! And I don't wish to offend anybody.
it's just a means of collecting donations; if people are sufficiently impressed with the guy you've made, hopefully they'll contribute a few pennies.

Outside our local shop the other day was a child of 5, asking for a penny for the guy. When asked where his guy was, he replied that he didn't need one.


Also, this was at 9:30pm in not the nicest area in the city and the child was on his own. Don't parents care that their 5 year old is begging and putting himself in danger?!!

CheekyChops - it was only yesterday that someone mentioned a similar thing to us.


A little boy asked our friend for "A Penny for the Guy", our friend asked where his 'Guy' was & the boy said he didn't have one. Our friend then asked him if he knew what a 'Guy' was, to which he replied "No".


Strange form of begging, especially for a little one out after dark!


When I was a kid there were other kids who'd make a guy up from rags and put him in a rickety pushchair. I believe the money they were asking for was to buy bonfire sweets or fireworks - not illegal for kids to buy back then.


Like the other replies, some kids these days have no idea what the history is. Once I answered the door to the scruffiest, snotty little gos-eyed urchin I'd ever seen, who just held out a mucky hand and mumbled "trick or treat". I gave him a pound and he just gazed at what I'd given him, then slowly turned on his heels without so much as a thank-you or kiss-me-arse.


Nowadays I refuse to answer the door near Hallowe'en, Guy Fawkes Night or Christmas. Bah, humbug!



I wonder what response you'd get if you gave them exactly that - a penny?


we would spend ages making a really good guy for the top of the fire - nowadays its a balloon with a face drawn on it tied to a binbag


actually, its a bit sick really isn't it? encouraging kids to burn effigys of people...

Not people, Joko, only traitors....be fair!!!


(Just jossing of course, I don't wanna start nuffin.)

joko - my dad did just that once - gave the kids a penny. They asked him was he being 'f**king funny or what?' He just laughed and told them to ask for what they wanted next time - fair do's, they then said 'Alright, giz a quid'. (he didn't)

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