From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues first published in 1859.
Joey: a fourpenny piece, The term is derived (like Bobby from Sir Robert Peel) from Joseph Hume, the late respected M.P. The explanation is thus given in Hawkins’ History of the Silver Coinage of England
“These pieces are said to have owe their existence to the pressing instance of Mr. Hume, from whence they, for some time, bore the nickname of Joeys. As they were very convenient to pay short cab fares, the Hon. M.P. was extremely unpopular with the drivers, who frequently received only a groat where otherwise they would have received a sixpence without any demand for change.”
The term originated with the London cabmen, who have invented many others.
(Two pence less tip per trip. I can see how that would make the cabbies unhappy. Seems like Mr…
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