a ball of lint and a lead slug to rub together

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Steve meets a woman, and the next day they are marrying. Ron, his brother, doesn't approve of that and suggests she's just after his money.
Steve: Ron, I don't even have a ball of lint and a lead slug to rub together. She's got a trust fund.
My Stepmother Is an Alien, film

What is it? It doesn't seem to be an expression at all. Does "ball of lint" collocated with "lead slug" make any sense to you?

Logically it must mean he has no money, especially since he's unemployed, but still, the bolded part:confused:

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Not an idiom. Appears to just be an attempt at unique, snappy dialogue. Balls of lint are worthless items routinely found in pockets. Why a lead slug? No idea, but it is an equally valueless item.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The expression is "I don't have two coins to rub together." The speaker makes a joking exaggeration he doesn't have a fake coin (a lead slug) and something insubstantial (even less than a coin) to rub together.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    ... Does "ball of lint" collocated with "lead slug" make any sense to you? ...
    A ball of lint COULD be a synonym for the 'wadding' used to hold the lead shot in place in the barrel of an old 'muzzleloader' gun (flintlock pistols & muskets).
    Having been told she is after his money, Steve COULD be implying "I'm not 'loaded' (wealthy), but she is".
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A ball of lint COULD be a synonym for the 'wadding' used to hold the lead shot in place in the barrel of an old 'muzzleloader' gun (flintlock pistols & muskets).
    I think that's a stretch, particularly since muzzle-loaders disappeared long before the film's date of 1988 and we started talking about aliens.
    (Not to mention that I've never encountered it in that context.)
     
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