[Ads-l] turn on a dime (1911), stop on a dime (1921)

James Eric Lawson jel at NVENTURE.COM
Thu Sep 9 00:11:17 EDT 2021


An 'answer' at ELU,

https://english.stackexchange.com/a/552273

links to an example of 'turn on a dime' from 1893 (middle column, 2nd
para from bottom),

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=pst.000060119063&view=1up&seq=502&size=125&q1=dime

"a little chestnut that was quick as a flash and could turn on a dime"

and an example of 'stop on a dime' from 1919,

https://www.newspapers.com/image/93431219/?terms=%22stop%2Bon%2Ba%2Bdime%22

"because you can stop on a dime with those brakes".

On 9/8/21 1:47 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> Here is another coin employed to measure turning radius in 1902.
> 
> Date: January 23, 1902
> Newspaper: The Burlington Free Press
> Newspaper Location: Burlington, Vermont
> Article: Hope Ahead For The Horse
> Author: Rene Bache
> Quote Page 2, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
> 
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/197088662/?terms=ideal
> 
> [Begin excerpt]
> An ideal polo pony has "quarters like a cart-horse," and should have
> such control of himself as to be able to "turn on a dollar."
> [End excerpt]
> 
> Garson
> 
> On Wed, Sep 8, 2021 at 3:19 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> The OED entry for "dime" hasn't been updated with the idiom "(turn/stop) on
>> a dime," though Oxford Dictionaries has it ("used to refer to a maneuver
>> that can be performed by a moving vehicle or person within a small area or
>> short distance").
>>
>> HDAS has an earlier expression, "turn on a five-cent piece," from 1881. The
>> same quote appears in newspaper databases as early as Oct. 17, 1879,
>> excerpted from an article by A.A. Hayes, Jr. in the Nov. 1879 issue of
>> Harper's. ("Turn on a ten-cent piece" shows up starting in 1891.)
>>
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84969173/turns-on-a-five-cent-piece/
>>
>> HDAS has "turn on a dime" from 1918 but doesn't have "stop on a dime."
>>
>> * turn on a dime (1911)
>>
>> ---
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84966683/turn-on-a-dime/
>> Galveston (Texas) Daily News, Mar. 18, 1911, p. 3, col. 6
>> While the ship was being turned and docked her fast little steam launch
>> darted about doing its share of the task like something with human
>> Intelligence. It was a fast little craft and could almost turn on a dime in
>> a jiffy.
>> ---
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84966716/turn-on-a-dime/
>> Washington Post, May 28, 1911, Sporting Section, p. 4, col. 7
>> The only difference in equipment is in the shoes, the American ponies
>> wearing light plates with a flange on the outer rim and the English ponies
>> having the flange on the inside of the shoe, which in their opinion is the
>> part of the foot most needing a bracing when a pony turns "on a dime."
>> ---
>>
>> * stop on a dime (1921)
>>
>> ---
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84965918/you-can-stop-it-on-a-dime/
>> Indianapolis News, Jan. 27, 1921, p. 19 (advt.)
>> The New Design 1921 Franklin [...]
>> Increased leverage makes transmission footbrake 30% powerful. You can stop
>> it on a dime.
>> ---
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84966009/stop-on-a-dime/
>> Herald and Review, Decatur, Ill., Mar. 25, 1921, p. 6, col. 2
>> They [sc. buses] will get you down town a little quicker than the street
>> cars, sometimes, and often furnish you with many thrills enroute by
>> stunting in front of an 18 ton street car that cannot stop on a dime, no
>> matter how careful the operator, or ignoring the watchman's warning at the
>> railroad crossing.
>> ---
>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84966090/stop-on-a-dime/
>> South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, May 2, 1922, p. 2, col. 6
>> It is true that "flivvers" can stop on a dime but some drivers forget that
>> they sometimes back up.
>> ---
>>
>> --bgz
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 

-- 
James Eric Lawson

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


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