The retired police chief smiled and told me that "whatever he did in other places he kept it out of our juris-diction. He was old-school, very polite, a perfect gentleman. You wouldn't know he had two dimes to rub together from looking at his house or the car he drove.

Did he collect a minimum amount of money from people who looked at his house or car? Or he didn't want anything more than his car and house, right?

  • books.google.co.kr/… – FrankSyrup Feb 16 '20 at 4:49
  • 2
    The usual expression here has been flipped. “He didn’t have two dimes to rub together” means he had no money, but I think this is trying to say he did have plenty of money and you wouldn’t know it by looking at his house and car (implying that his house and car are inexpensive looking, not impressive). – Orbital Aussie Feb 16 '20 at 6:33
  • This American English expression has a British English version using different coins (pennies, farthings, etc.). In Australian English we say “he didn’t have a brass razoo”: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_razoo – Orbital Aussie Feb 16 '20 at 6:37
  • In Britain, even now, approx 50 years after currency decimalisation, you hear people saying that someone, obviously not poor, has 'a bob or two'. A 'bob' was a shilling, twelve pre-decimal pence. There were 240 of these to a pound. – Michael Harvey Feb 16 '20 at 11:21

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