The term "two-bit" refers to something (or someone) that is inferior or worthless: a two-bit actor. When a Spanish 8 reales was cut into quarters to make small purchases, each quarter was worth two reales or two -bits. In the United States foreign coins were legal tender until 1857 and a Spanish two-bit would be the equivalent of twenty five cents.
Thanks to Max Spiegel for the submission.
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