Feb 17, 2012

Get Off The Dime

“Get off the dime” dates back to the days of dance halls and “taxi dancers,” women employed by the halls to dance with strangers, usually for ten cents per dance (a grim occupation immortalized in the 1930 Rodgers and Hart song “Ten Cents a Dance”). A contemporary account, published in 1925, explains the phrase: “Sometimes a … [dancing] couple would … scarcely move from one spot. Then the floor manager would cry ‘Git off dat dime!’” Similarly, “dancing on the dime” meant to dance very closely with very little movement, behavior that might well attract the attention of the Vice Squad and get the hall closed. Thus “get off the dime” referred both to the the customer as the “dime” he had paid and to the small spot (“dime”) on the floor where the couple seemed frozen.