“Noun: The plural of penny”. The term has largely fallen in to disuse after the decimalisation of the British currency in 1971. Before that a penny was 1/240 of a Pound.
The penny was made of copper alloy, it was the heaviest British coin and was almost worthless. In English the word “Pence” means the same as “loose change” however, in the “American” language “Pence” means the Vice-President.
In England nobody liked Pence but everybody found their trouser pockets and handbags full of the stuff. Men had to have special straps over their shoulders (called “braces”) to keep their trousers up due to the enormous weight of Pence in their pockets. There was nothing you could buy for a penny. In fact the only thing that a penny could be used for was entrance to a public toilet. This brings us to another English expression “spend a penny” which means “go to the toilet”. Everyone thought that Pence were stupid and were glad when they disappeared.
So, its easy to get confused between the English word “Pence” and the American word “Pence”. They are both pronounced and spelled the same way. Not only this, both words stand for something that is heavy, old fashioned, stupid, worthless and makes you think of the lavatory.