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Translation Request

In British, how do you say "to nickel and dime" someone? Given the currencies involved, it seems very unlikely to me that the same phrase is used here.

It doesn't mean penny-pinching, since while saving money is involved, the phrase is really about petty trivialities in transactions.

Comments

( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
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maxineofarc
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Ah, two nations divided by a common language...
purplecthulhu
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Short change?
ewtikins
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Not the same thing at all!
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_epermithis2u - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rhube - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rhube - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - targaff - Apr. 22nd, 2008 06:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - purplecthulhu - Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cdave - Apr. 22nd, 2008 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
vschanoes
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Problem is, the phrase comes from one of the US revolutionaries (I forget which one) bitching about taxes--the issue that led to the revolution. So definitely not a transatlantic one. What do the British say about this?
owlfish
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
I had no idea that's where it came from! Neat.
chickenfeet2003
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
I don't know. It's odd because the British are masters at it. Where else would you get charged extra for butter to put on your toast?
owlfish
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
Maybe there isn't a word or phrase for it here? It seemed so likely that there would be.
(no subject) - rhube - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_epermithis2u - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_epermithis2u - Apr. 21st, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
rhube
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
Despite being someone who's lived on both sides of the ocean, I've never heard that one, and have no idea what it means.
mr_epermithis2u
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Opposite of big bucks according to Google... so it would be pennies in England.

Or an older term would be shrapnel... usually referring to the smallest coins - 1ps 2ps etc....
mr_epermithis2u
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
shrapnel = loose change Usually slightly derogatory and implies that lots of small denomination coins. Comes from military shrapnel, especially in the second world war. As in ‘I don’t have any notes so its all shrapnel’

according to http://plonkee.com/2007/07/31/british-money-slang/

Not sure this has exactly the same meaning as "to nickel and dime" tho :S
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 22nd, 2008 10:37 am (UTC) - Expand
gillo
Apr. 21st, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
I've always wondered what that phrase meant. I can't really think of an equivalent, though I suppose "we don't want to count every penny" might work. But even that has overtones of "penny-pinching" = frugality.

taldragon
Apr. 22nd, 2008 10:14 am (UTC)
oooooh! Camberwick On Mars!

*waves back*
daisho
Apr. 21st, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Bled dry / bled white is about as close as I can come, but the metaphor is a bit strained considering the context you're talking about.
noncalorsedumor
Apr. 22nd, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
I have no idea. Frankly, you'd be the person *I* would ask! ;-)
a_d_medievalist
Apr. 22nd, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
hmmm ...a tough one. I think the whole phrase is "to nickle and dime something to death", which is kind of like bleeding someone dry -- except that that can be a constant drain.

My uni is great for nickle-ing and dime-ing people-- the other day, they refused to reimburse me for the tax on a water-filtering pitcher for my building, which a budget officer in the building had authorised. At first, they tried to refuse the whole thing, but then they just refused the tax. They will fund fairly expensive conferences, but only pay $25 per diem for meals ...

The sentiments of the phrase have a lot to do with wearing a person down.
owlfish
Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
Death of a thousand cuts! (Only without the death.) I'm quite sure that phrase works on both sides of the ocean.
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Apr. 22nd, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
coth
Apr. 22nd, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
To pick at nits, nit picking? We're not going to be nit picking here? (That's nits as in louse eggs.) A bit old fashioned, perhaps (which is the way we used to say 'I guess').
owlfish
Apr. 22nd, 2008 10:38 am (UTC)
That's a very good suggestion. It can be used in very similar ways, yes. I grew up with nit-picking. Would you also say "pick at nits" then? Do you use them interchangeably?
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Apr. 22nd, 2008 11:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Apr. 22nd, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
ivpiter
Apr. 22nd, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Maybe 'Nibbled to death by ducks'?
cdave
Apr. 22nd, 2008 09:26 am (UTC)
Flogged to death by scented bootlaces.
wishus
Apr. 22nd, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
It's to 'pick over the... something'. I can't think!
steer
Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:32 am (UTC)
Tuppeny hapenny.

OK, it's a bit obsolete...

Do I win?
owlfish
Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:45 am (UTC)
Oooh, that's a really interesting one. I'm not certain I knew it, but playing with Google gives some interesting hits. I particularly like "a tuppeny-hapenny storm in a teacup" as something that would be rather difficult to ever actually acquire. Especially at that price.

To what degree does it mean "on a shoestring budget" and to what degree is it "lots of small little worthless expenditures"? Certainly structurally, it's the best match yet!
(no subject) - steer - Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
bookzombie
Apr. 22nd, 2008 09:37 am (UTC)
I'd go with coth and say 'nit-picking' is probably the nearest phrase, though that doesn't have the specific money-related implications.

Edited at 2008-04-22 09:40 am (UTC)
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