dime someone out.

susantash

Senior Member
Español de Uruguay
Hi everyone!
I suspect this means to tell on someone with the police, but i'd like you to confirm if this is correct.
This is the context:

"A: You dimed me out.
B: I did not dime you out. when the sheriffs asked where you got the car, I said i didn't know. I didn't even know it was stolen. You're blaming that on me?
A: You could have covered me, huh?"

Thanks very much for your help!

 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    According to the Free Dictionary:

    Dime:
    It is used as a verb in a similar manner in phrases such as "Someone dimed me out and I got arrested."

    The term comes from the era when informants used public payphones that cost a dime to make a call to the authorities. In order to make a call they had to drop a dime in the coin slot.
    Source
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi everyone!
    I suspect this means to tell on someone with the police, but I'd like you to confirm if this is correct.
    This is the context:

    "A: You dimed me out.
    B: I did not dime you out. When the sheriffs asked where you got the car, I said I didn't know. I didn't even know it was stolen. You're blaming that on me?
    A: You could have covered me, huh?"

    Your suspicion is correct. I won't dime you out for the careless orthography. :)
     

    thatchmo

    New Member
    English USA
    Just heard James Clapper refer to being sure of your facts before you "dime out" someone or some country!
    on Charlie Rose 10/26/16
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Back in the day I would more likely hear "dropped a dime on you" rather than "dimed you".

    When you inserted the coin you could clearly hear the coin dropping into the repository.

    vintage-pay-phone-550643.jpg
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    That's interesting. I wonder if it became "dime someone out" because it somehow got conflated with selling or ratting someone out.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That's interesting. I wonder if it became "dime someone out" because it somehow got conflated with selling or ratting someone out.

    That might be the case. Someone who knows how could check Google for the frequency of "dropped the dime", "dimed" and "dimed him out" to see which is more common over the years.

    At some point (probably now) the concept is archaic. Nearly the same as "roll up the window" in cars nowadays where only a button is used and not a crank.

    There are still some pay phones and still some cars with crank windows, so not quite obsolete, but getting there.
     
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