How much is “two bits” and where did the phrase come from?
Two bits is commonly understood in America to be one quarter. The word “bit” long meant, in England, any coin of a low denomination. In early America, “bit” was used for some Spanish and Mexican coins that circulated and were worth one-eighth of a peso, or about 12 and one-half cents. Hence, two bits would have equaled about 25 cents.