put a nickel in someone v. phr. to provoke a person to excitement or talkativeness; to rile or anger someone; to cause someone to act. Also put a quarter in someone and, rarely, put a dime in someone. Etymological Note: From comparison of a person to a coin-operated machine or toy. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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7 Responses

  1. Cat. says:

    Dude, when I was a kid 30 years ago, my parents would always ask if someone put a quarter in me when I was overly chatty.

    Apparently deflation has hit the language!!

  2. Arnie says:

    Similar to what we sailors said in the 60s: “Who pull your string.” Meaning why are you so interruptive and talkative all of a sudden. A reference to the popular toy doll “Chatty Cathy.” A doll who’s voice-box was activated when a frontal string was pulled taut by its plastic ring.

  3. Arnie says:

    My comment above should read:

    “Who pulled your string?”

    That’s “pulled”, past tense.

    Not “Who pull your string.” as it was not an ebonical reference. [Not that there’s anything wrong with that.]

  4. LEROY BRANDT says:

    Thanks for the clarity, ANNIE. Maybe nothing wrong,but if it had been meant to be ebonical I think I probabaly would have given a clue such as started the quote thus: “Da, who pull—-” or “Let me ax you, who pull—-” Does your keyboard have smiley-face key. Anyway, it seeem that as things have progrssed on this definition that the tendency to connect it to slot machines is virtually gone and the juke-box, player- piano, telephone connotations, in that order, are holding sway.

  5. LEROY BRANDT says:

    Sorry, Arnie, for clarity I meant Arnie not Annie. This ain’t a “gotchya”, I really went through all that and didn’t catch it until after sent.

  6. Arnie says:

    Yours is a non sequitur in the extreme, Leroy. I made a typo and I was correcting my typo. Maybe you have progrssed (sic), but I owe it to others to clarify. I typed “pull”, when I should have typed “pulled.” So I apologize for your confusion. I maintain that “Who put a nickel in you?” and “Who pulled your string?” are the same, for all intents and purposes.

    Which brings me to my last point, to wit.: Who put a nickel in you, Leroy? … The same person who pulled your string, no doubt. ;-) Cheers.

  7. LEROY BRANDT says:

    I recognized your typo immediately, Arnie. I totally agree with the sameness of idea that “Who pulled your string?” conveys. If you noticed I a couple of typos in my first comment one of which could present the opportunity for anyone who interpreted your typo in error to do the same to someone who says “it seeem that-”. As to who put a nickel in me? Arnie, it was you, because of the iclusion after your apology, that you thought some might think your typo was an ebonical reference. You also, rightly so in my opinion, in essence said that no apolgy was due anyone who had made the assumtion. At this point it’s not a case of “Who put a nickel in—?” or “—pulled my string?”, what the fact is ,you are the answer to “Who pulled your(my) chain?”. As I said I totally agree with the points in your original comment and just saw an opportunity to jabber and, so we have. By the way please point me to the non sequitur in the extreme for I’m pretty sure I don’t know what one is and if I made one in the extreme I might be flattered. If I may, I think the chain thing is a valid addition to the main subject phrases. After wittnessing the above woudn’t you agree. After all, the nickle or string could get you nursery rhymes or some tunes but look what the chain could flush out.  Over.

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