Come off the money (= get off the dime?)

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Sat Apr 13 17:28:51 UTC 2002

On Fri, 12 Apr 2002, positive pcr wrote:

#Is anyone familiar with the expression "come off the money" meaning to stop
#being miserly or, perhaps, to finalize a decision to spend some money? I
#believe this expression is commonly understood in Jackson, Mississippi. Is
#it widely used across the south? Any idea as to its age? A Google search
#returns a handful of examples:
#"It took me two months to come off the money and I must say I don't regret
#buying it."

This looks like a "translation" or rewording of "get off the dime",
which I've known since the fifties in the sense of 'bestir oneself from
inactivity to action'.

In the latter, "dime" looks like the same (metaphorical) 'spot, location
of something stationary' as in "stop on a dime". As the physically the
smallest US coin the dime makes sense as a figure of speech for a point,
a location allowing no movement within it-- unlike "turf" or UK "manor",
a location-noun referring to an area.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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