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

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Apr 13 19:24:09 UTC 2002

In a message dated 04/13/2002 1:29:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
mam at THEWORLD.COM writes:

> 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.

Just a guess, but could it be that the "dime" in question was the one spent
to get into a pay toilet and "get off the dime" is a rewording, or maybe
euphemism, for "get off the pot"?

     Here I sit,
     paid my dime
     and only farted

According to an Englishwoman I met in 1982, British pay toilets (or whatever
they call them) cost a shilling, and "I have to spend a shilling" meant "I
have to go to the lieu".

       - Jim Landau

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