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drop a dime

Slang definitions & phrases for drop a dime

drop a dime

verb phrase
  1. To inform; give information, esp to the police; dime, rat •New York City teenagers have equated dime with an amount of information and also speak of dropping a quarter, more information, and dropping a dollar, the maximum of information: Chaney questioned the man who had dropped the dime on Madison/ And then he dropped the dime (made the phone call) and turned Vinnie in (1960s+)
  2. To point out the faults and failures of another; criticize (1970s+ Army)

[fr the dime put into a pay telephone in that era]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with drop a dime
Inform on or betray someone, as in No one can cheat in this class—someone's bound to drop a dime and tell the teacher. This expression, alluding to the ten-cent coin long used for making a telephone call, originated as underworld slang for phoning the police to inform on a criminal and occasionally is extended to any kind of betrayal. [ 1960s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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