Talk:nickel and dime

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

This seems to also be used as a verb. I have difficulty articulating a definition for it in that sense, so someone more articulate, please add it :-)

  • I've defined it as "to make progress in small increments" which could obviously use some improvement. Kappa 18:42, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Deletion debate[edit]

Green check.svg

The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


Noun: 15 years. nickel = 5 years (prison term); dime = 10 years. Please tell me how this is idiomatic and not straightforwardly compositional. One commonly advanced justification is that users can't know which sense of "nickel" or "dime" (or for that matter "and") might be involved. If that is so, this doesn't have to go. All we have to do is count the number of senses for each term. If at least one term has more than one sense, there is a prima facie case for inclusion. I don't know for sure what happens after that. DCDuring TALK 01:26, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like an inverse RfV issue to me. Can it be demonstrated that someone wouldn't say "three nickels"? If no alternative combination of words is used to effect this sentiment, then I would think that makes it idiomatic. bd2412 T 04:02, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
The issue is not what the preferred term for a prison term of fifteen years is, but whether someone knowing that a "nickel" is a five-year term and a "dime" is a ten-year term wouldn't be able to infer that "nickel and dime" is a fifteen-year term. The line of reasoning offered implies that we should have as adjective "black and white" because statistically it is much more common than "white and black". That would seem to out-Pawley Pawley. Thanks for the novel argument. DCDuring TALK 11:01, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Do nickel and dime mean five and ten years, resp., when used alone? We lack those senses.​—msh210 18:34, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, they do. "He did a dime for felony murder." In this sense, they don't collocate with too many terms. None of the OneLook references have the sense of "nickel". DCDuring TALK 18:47, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Even knowing this, it's too easily confused with 15 cents. They're both coins. DAVilla 04:56, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
So, keep, right? bd2412 T 02:53, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Kept, no consensus. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:30, 26 April 2010 (UTC)