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Yankee dime

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  • Not Texas slang, but I’d be willing to bet it’s confined to Southern slang.

    I was born and raised in Alabama.

    When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to say, “Give me a Yankee dime.”

    As I grew older, I forgot all about the phrase until she was dying. A man visiting her in the hospital leaned over her bed and said, “Give me a Yankee dime.”

    Memories flooded my soul.

    I now say the same words to my own granddaughter.

    “Give me a Yankee dime.”

  • I am 76 and we used this in Texas when I was young.  I say it now and no one around me understands.

  • 12/o3/1907
    I am 81 and my mother would tell one of us 9 children she would give us a “yankee dime if we would do something for her. I ask my for a yankee dime and she did not know what I wanted. We lived in Nashville TN.
    Herman Tucker

  • I’m 63 and raised in NW Tennessee and I heard it used as “kiss” when I was a child.  Haven’t talked to many younger than me that have heard it and fewer north of there.  I have no idea of origin, but suspect it might have indicated something of little value, like southerners would have thought of northern promises after the Civil War.  Can’t imagine in the South during that time it being slang for anything of much value.

  • Another Alabama girl.
    My father would ask for a favor (“bring me a Coke, and I’ll give you a yankee dime”).
    I consistently “fell” for it until I was about nine, when I began to value kisses more than lucre.

  • I grew up in Northeast Louisiana, and I can remember my best friend’s grandpa saying that to her.  We both still use it sometimes, and we are only in our 20’s.  None of our friends have ever heard of it, but they all think it is cute.

  • I won a yankee dime from my husband, then when I bragged about it at work no one knew what I was talking about.  I then tried to find anyone who knew what a yankee dime was and “NO ONE” (out of 30-40 people) knew what it meant.  I’m from Alabama and my dad gave out a lot of yankee dimes! Connie 4/23/08

  • well I like it and think it is cute—I am new to Texas and I am going to start using it to revive it again.
    Thanks Guys!

  • man, I live in Georgia and I am only in my teens and I use that all the time. When I was younger my dad always asked me to do stuff and when I said I wouldn’t do it he always asked, “Would you do it for a yankee dime?”
    I use to think everyone knew what it was- but I found out when I got to highschool that only a few people knew what it was! So now I say it to tease people.

  • I’m a 50 year old woman, raised in Texas, but I go right back to being a girl when I hear “yankee dime”.  My mother used the expression when I was a child.  She still does every so often.  I used the expression today and none of the 4 women I was talking with knew what it meant.  I couldn’t believe it!  I had to GOOGLE it just to prove to them I wasn’t a complete loon.

  • Im 57 and i have an aunt who use it to teese me when i was a child.just to see my face turn red.LOL

  • The love of my life, whom I hadn’t talked to or seen since I was 17 and whom I have found again now that we are in our 40’s, recently offered me a yankee dime. We are both from south Arkansas but I had never heard of this and had to google it because he was keeping it a mystery.  I can’t wait to collect from him!
    by suz357

  • My grandmother is from Arkansas south and migrated to California during the Great Depression.  Once during a visit, she told me she would give me a Yankee Dime if I ran to get something out of her car.  I ran as fast as I could and returned with the item to which she gave me a give peck on the cheek.  Thanks Nanny, I replied, but can I have my Yankee Dime now.  She informed that the peck on the cheek was the Yankee Dime.  Although I was a little dissapointed at the time, it is one of my fondest memories of my Nanny.

  • I’m a 69 y.o. from Mississippi, and I heard about Yankee dimes quite frequently when I was a child.  I think I recall my sister offering to give me a Yankee dime if I would do something for her.

  • I am 52 from Knoxville, Tennessee.  My mother use to offer a Yankee Dime to my siblings and I if we would do a chore for her.  We all new it meant all we would get for our efforts was a kiss but we did it anyway. Mom also talked about “grandmas beads” the thin black ring around your neck formed by sweat and coal dust.

  • Correction to the opening line of Effron White’s “Yankee Dime” and the rest of the first verse:  “She said she’d give me a Yankee Dime, if I would just love her one good time; We were young, she was wild and free, And I admit she tempted me.  But on my other arm there stood another girl so pure and good; I turned down that Yankee dime to take the good one and make her mine.”

  • I grew up hearing the term “Yankee dime,” and learned its meaning in the fifth grade in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, when a girl asked me for a bite of peaches on my lunchroom tray and kissed me on the cheek.

    If you have not heard the marvelous song, “Yankee Dime,” by Effron White, you are missing a treat.  The first line goes:  “She said she’t give me a Yankee Dime if I would give her a real good time…”  I hadn’t thought of the term in years until I heard that song…

  • My dad was from Alabama. He used to ask us girls for yankee dimes all the time. We quickly learned that these were kisses!

    After my dad passed away, I would find dimes in the strangest places. Bottom a grocery bag, under a notebook, in the middle of the garage, and often one would drop out of my purse (not so unusual).  When my son played the basketball championship, I found a dime in the bleachers!

    After my friend’s mother died, my friend found a dime on the sidewalk. She called to tell me my dad had “stopped by.”  I said, no – I know that that is! Your mom is having cofee with my dad and said – boy I sure wish I could let my daughter know I’m thinking of her, and dad said, Hey I know how to do that! and BAM, there’s a dime!!

    My family and friends cherish these and in the 13 years since my dad passed, I’ve gotten quite a collection.  It always brings a smile to my face, and sometimes a tear.  (sure loved my daddy … miss him all the time)

  • tjwiiams reading your story is like readying my own.  I grew up in Atlanta Ga.  My mother divorced my father in the ealry 60’s and we did not have much.  If my mom did not have the money for me to do something with my friends she would all ways tell me that she wish she could do more and then tell me she did have a yankee dime for me.  She passed away in 2008 and its like she knows when I need to hear from her.  Its not like I am passing up change just to find a dime.  Its just they are there.  I have then in a vase now and when I find a new one I will give it a kiss and add it to the others.  We really need to get together and write a journel about our yankee dimes. denisesipple@gmail.com

  • Georgia here…

    I am 24 years old and I just heard it today. I’m really not sure if my grandmother said it or not. She said a lot of other stuff. My girlfriend told me that if I brought her breakfast, she would give me a “yankee dime”. I thought it was a cute. <3

  • My mom was from Krebs, Oklahoma as well as her sister and they both used the term “Yankee Dime” for a kiss on the cheek. A ” Yankee Dime” may have started out as something of little value, but when came from your Mom or Dad and there was little else to give.

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