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

Towse self at TOWSE.COM
Sun Apr 14 00:44:19 UTC 2002

"James A. Landau" wrote:
> 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,
>      broken-hearted
>      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".

James J. Kilpatrick in a column in 1998 mentions a possible
origin in the marathon dancing (10c a dance) days of the '20s.

Then, again...

"come off the money" I'd never heard/seen before, but a Web
search shows examples such as
<> "I have wanted
a Trail Master for years but have never been able to come off the
money for a knife I will not use that often but on hunting or
camping trips."

useful links for writers:

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