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Italian relatives of the "Sixpenny Store," etc.?


villa66
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A question. Adding an entry to my notebook this afternoon I noticed the British sixpence and the American dime being used in identical fashion.

 

I’m wondering whether any Italian small coins have found their way into the wider culture as below, to mean either a bargain store, or a short distance.

 

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x: This coin displaced an earlier 1938 sixpence, the tired surfaces of which were perhaps evidence of the then burgeoning popularity of the British counterpart to the American “Five and Dime,” the “Sixpenny Store.”

 

x: It was a 1942 British movie, [iThe First of the Few[/i] (in the U.S. it was released as Spitfire), in which a scene set in the ‘30s laid out the qualities that would be required of the new fighter aircraft. She must be able to “turn on a sixpence,” said actor Leslie Howard in a phrase that immediately jumped out at me because of its similarity to the American “turn on a dime.” By the time this 1942 sixpence was coined—it may have been spent at a movie theater watching The First of the Few—the RAF Spitfire had become a part of British folklore. American dimes, however, didn’t get spent at the movies watching Spitfire until it was released in the U.S. in mid-’43. By that time Leslie Howard was dead, killed in a DC3 transport plane shot down by the Luftwaffe.

 

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I note that Americans also say “stop on a dime,” so it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that British English has also seen the phrase “stop on sixpence”

 

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Anyone know of an Italian small coin used likewise? If so, I’d sure appreciate hearing about it.

 

:) v.

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  • 10 months later...
Il 30/6/2019 alle 09:55, villa66 dice:

Anyone know of an Italian small coin used likewise? If so, I’d sure appreciate hearing about it.

I do not know similar uses in Italy, but in a famous 90s pop song the 100 lire coin was mentioned to indicate a betrayal with a paltry sum.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the U.S. a dime (10-cent piece) is sometimes used to express an act of betrayal, as in to "drop a dime" on someone. The idea is to drop a dime unto the coin slot of a pay-phone and call the authorities , etc.

 

Is it possible to say, @ART , how the 100-lire piece was used to betray someone?

 

:) v.

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1 ora fa, villa66 dice:

Is it possible to say, @ART , how the 100-lire piece was used to betray someone?

The song says "if I don't sell [betray] you, you will sell me for 100 lire or little more".

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