cheap skate

Idioms & Phrases

cheap skate

A stingy person, as in He's a real cheap skate when it comes to tipping. This idiom combines cheap (for "penurious") with the slang usage of skate for a contemptible or low individual. It has largely replaced the earlier cheap John. [Slang; late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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