I only recall one individual ever having used this phrase towards me. It does not seem to be something we use any longer, nor think of. Perhaps in our modern age, we are far too removed from one another to make such an intimate inquiry.
Such a selflessly philosophical and humanistic idiom; for who could be so self-important to deny a penny for their mere thoughts with a claim “they are worth more”, and yet who could be so self-important to accept the penny thus stating “my thoughts have monetary worth”?
Thus the true depth of the offer. Yet, many a thinker would truly pay for one’s ponderings, if it could enrich our lives.
What better way to communicate to our fellow human beings our, and my especially, willingness and sheer desire to truly here their thoughts:
May I offer a penny for them?