In my Red Rock Mystery Book there is the text:

I knew the trip would be an adventure, but I'd had no idea we'd get to go to my favorite restaurant on the planet - Carson's. I could almost taste their ribs and coleslaw as we reached the ticket kiosk. The problem was, neither Ashley nor I knew how to work it. The directions were confusing, and farther up people crowded through turnstiles.

I was about to put a couple of dollars in when Ashley got a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) attendant's attention. I told him we wanted to stop at Carson's restaurant downtown before heading to Ridgefield.

"Ah, great choice." He put our money in and told us which trains to take and when to use the tickets.

I'm intersted in "put in" phrase. In the first place I can understand meaning of "put a couple of dollars in" (the meaning is - I mentioned we have some money and we can use it in that situation). TheFreeDictionary.com and Collins dictionary tell the same on that. By in the second place I can't understand "put our money in". Author wants to tell that attendant took the money? or he simple refused to take the money? or something else? I don't know anything about Chicago attendants but I can guess he saw kids before him and refused to take money though they offered it.

Can you explain to me?


1 Answer 1


You are missing the context, which is difficult if you have never seen it before: They put money in the slot of a ticket kiosk. There is a slot, you put your money in, select a ticket and it then dispenses the ticket through another slot. They didn't know how to work it.

to put money in [the slot of] a ticket kiosk. The one below is for buying tickets. A dictionary does not help here because the author did not bother to repeat the term ticket kiosk, so the reader is left with the impression that "put in" is a phrasal verb, which, in fact, it isn't here.

From Soft Logic ticket kiosk

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    As a British English speaker, I would find that usage of 'kiosk' confusing. To me, a kiosk is a little enclosed cabin with a person inside, behind a window or opening, ready to answer enquiries or sell newspapers, tickets, snacks, etc. The thing in your picture I would call a 'machine', and the type that sells rail tickets a 'ticket machine'. Real UK rail buffs and staff call them TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines). Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 14:10
  • @MichaelHarvey Yes, Michael, yes. It means both things in AmE but obviously in the context of this paragraph, it is about buying tickets from a machine and not buying newspapers from a punter. UK site: touch-screen-kiosk-systems.co.uk/ticketing-kiosk/… If you scroll down the page of this site, you will see it is *très British".
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 14:15
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    As an AmE speaker, when I hear "kiosk" I usually think of a little enclosed booth too, not a machine.
    – stangdon
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 15:46
  • @stangdon I am going by the text as posted by the OP. Also, kiosk as a stand-alone machine has been around for a while in American English. MW: : a small stand-alone device providing information and services on a computer screen a museum with interactive kiosks [another example of a kiosk]
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 15:52
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    Frankly, I think anyone reading this answer should agree with it. It is not my fault if kiosk is used in various ways.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 16:13

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