Tag Archives: Drop a Dime

Drop a Dime

Drop a dime

What was said? He’s just “dropping dimes!”

Did someone really say that? Yes, my husband announced it as we were watching NBA finals back in June (sorry for the post delay!)

What does it mean? In the basketball context above, it means to “assist,” meaning to assist another player in scoring (passed the ball, helped the other teammate score, etc.).

Origin:  The phrase originates back to the 40’s or 50’s and refers to making a phone call at a payphone where the price of a call was 10 cents. The call though, was typically made by a police informant who would literally “drop a dime” to make the call and snitch on someone / “assist” the police in their detective work of catching criminals.

There are other phrases with the term “dime” such as “stopping on a dime,” and “at the drop of a dime,” both referring to precision, speed & accuracy and can be used for basketball as well.

Next time you are watching basketball on TV, listen closely and you may hear an announcer say that a player has “dropped a dime!”

Sources:
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=drop%20a%20dime
https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-history-of-the-slang-term-Dropped-a-dime
https://wordcounter.net/blog/2016/03/07/101271_what-is-a-dime-basketball.html

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