"Dear Peggy" pays dick

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
The reporter Peggy Brandt, who is of "Ask Peggy", which probably means a column or a section in a paper/magazine, is covering a story of the man in the mask. Stanley asks her why she's doing so. She:
-- Because "Dear Peggy" pays dick. I'm starving to death.
The Mask, movie

I understand from the context it means "pays (almost) nothing".

But I didn't find such an expression anywhere, even in the Urban dictionary.

The question is
1)
what meaning of "pay" is exactly used here. Is it the intransitive meaning of "pay" -- "make a profit"? As in "If the pub doesn’t start to pay, we’ll have to sell it."? If so, does "dick" act here as an adverb?
Or is it another, transitive meaning?

2) Since "dick" is a taboo word, I wonder, does the phrase sound very rude?

Thanks.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It means 'Being a writer for the "Dear Peggy" page pays me very little money'.

    And yes, it sounds rude to me. Not that "dick" is a taboo word, but it has taboo uses.
    I.e., by "Dear Peggy" she means "my employer", who pays her very little money ("dick" then is the direct object), right?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If you wanted to have a more polite sentence with the same meaning, you would change the noun:
    Writing the column pays peanuts.
    Writing the column pays next to nothing.


    "Pay" here is being used to mean "provides a salary or profit." When used this way, the amount of the salary or profit is used as the direct object, and the person who receives it (and who may not appear in the sentence) is the indirect object:
    This position pays $200 per week.
    The investment paid a handsome dividend.
    The investment paid the stockholders a handsome dividend.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you both !

    One question -- as I understand, "dick" is generally not as offensive as "cock" which would not be used in such a movie. Is it right?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    This is one of the uses of "dick" which is inoffensive. There are people named Dick.
    (At my local grocery store, they have packets of cock soup imported from the UK - right there on the shelves where children can see it! ;))
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've never seen cock soup over here. We do, however, have a traditional Scottish soup made from chicken and leeks, called cock-a-leekie.

    You can provide your own jokes. :D
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I mean only those meanings of dick/cock which stand for penis:D:rolleyes:

    E.g., it works in Russian in a very informal context too; one would say this about a dishonest employer: I've worked for him the whole month but he paid me cock/dick/(or whatever rude word for penis)!"
    We have some slang words for "penis", from an extremally rude one to a mild one. So, in the OP context, "dick" is a relatively mild one, while "cock" would be more offensive. Or wouldn't it?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    ... but we're not talking about one of those uses so that's a second question (and I'm guessing it's already discussed in other threads). :)
    I have not found anything.
    Just, could she have said -- ""Dear Peggy" pays cock" with the same meaning as in the OP?
     
    Whenever I hear "dick" in this meaning of "an amount so small it's negligible/practically nothing", I always understand it as "dickshit" an even more vulgar phrase. :rolleyes:.

    The first part of that phrase is sometimes softened to "dipshit."

    Vulgar set phrases like others, are set ones, so no, "cock" could not be substituted for "dick." That would be improper.:D

    Another feature of vulgar idioms is that their meanings take on the totality of something not understood by the individual words, here to give, get or receive practically nothing, so "penis" would not be coming to mind by its users.
     
    Last edited:

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Another feature of vulgar idioms is that their meanings take on the totality of something not understood by the individual words, here to give, get or receive practically nothing, so "penis" would not be coming to mind by its users.
    And another reason for that may be that dick/cock have normal meanings too, apart from the vulgar ones. We have, e.g., two ones in Russian which only have taboo meanings, and another, milder, maybe it's similar to 'dick/cock'.

    Thank you everyone !
     
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