British informal Used euphemistically to refer to a need to urinate: you can’t get to sleep when you want to spend a penny
[with reference to the coin-operated locks of public toilets]
More example sentences
- For years drinkers at The Sally Pussey Inn in Swindon Road have been spending a penny in the avocado-coloured urinals blissfully unaware that they may be worth quite a few pounds.
- At the Lindale Post Office and General Store, villagers have been spending pounds on the National Lottery to ensure people can go on spending a penny in the public toilet.
- Supt Lacy said those caught spending a penny in public could be hit with maximum fines of £500.
Definition of spend a penny in:
- The US English dictionary