[Ads-l] "a buck" revisited

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 15 16:15:33 UTC 2015

On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 8:17 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> We've had at least one former thread on extended uses of "a buck" in
> various cases of metaphorical extension, referring to 100.  So someone
> can weigh a buck seventy (170), someone can be caught driving a buck
> twenty (120 mph), something can cost a buck fifty ($150, not necessarily
> $1.50).  Can't recall when the thread was.  But there was a new one on
> me (and on Mike & Mike this morning) via a radio call of last night's
> playoff game: the announcer for the Houston Rockets, who drew even with
> the L.A. Clippers after an improbable fourth-quarter comeback, screaming
> about the Rockets tying it up at "a buck oh two", i.e. making it
> 102-102.  Anyone familiar with "a buck oh two" meaning '102 points', or
> even just "a buck" = '100 points'?

Some examples, mostly from coach-speak:

Orlando Sentinel, Nov. 30, 2005
Asked whether he thought the record ever might be broken, [Orlando
Magic coach Scott] Skiles said, "Not really. Because the scoring has
crept down in the league. Not many teams put up a buck-twenty [120
points] every night."
The Facts (Brazoria Co., Texas), Jan. 28, 2008
The Lake Jackson Lakers scooped up a big 175-129 win Saturday night in
a matchup with San Angelo in Texas Professional Basketball League
action... "I'm happy with the effort," [San Angelo coach Chris]
Cardenas said. "No bench and we still scored (more than) a buck
MLive.com, Oct. 28, 2012
"If we're not going to be a defense-first team ... we're not one
that's going to put up a buck-20 (120 points).  That's going to be
losing basketball for us.  So we've got to defend and rebound.  The
priorities are defend, rebound, low turnover, extra pass and best
shot. That simple, those five things," [Detroit Pistons coach
Lawrence] Frank said.
Delaware County Daily Times, Jan. 18, 2014
Josh Pastner believes that somewhere in his family's deep collection
of sports memorabilia exists a reel-to-reel film of Wilt Chamberlain
scoring 100 points in an NBA game... Hey, Wilt scored a buck, and no
one else in NBA history has matched the number.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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