What does nickel and dime mean?


Idiom Meaning:

cheap or low profit


Examples of this Idiom in Movies & TV Shows:


The Deuce “The Principle Is All” (2017)

Time of Scene: ~00:26:30

Candy: Hi. Thank you so much for coming.

Harvey Wasserman: Candy.

Candy: Yeah, yeah.

Harvey Wasserman: Yeah, I’ve been in this business a while now, and this is the first time a girl’s ever asked to buy me lunch. How could I turn that down? How’d you get my number?

Candy: From Ruby. Thunderthighs. She brought me the other night.

Harvey Wasserman: Ruby worked with me when I was actually putting film in the camera. You’d be surprised. There’s a market for big women.

Candy: No, I wouldn’t be. I work with her now.

Harvey Wasserman: Oh, yeah? Hmm.

Candy: So, why no film in the camera?

Harvey Wasserman: Ah, got tired of fucking with the cops, the postal inspectors, all of it. You know, you have to cut the loops to ribbons to show them as peeps, or sell them one at time under the counter. Can’t put ’em in the mail. Where’s the money in it?

Candy: Yeah, but there’s all kind of trash playing on the Deuce.

Harvey Wasserman: Well, you can do a feature… ah, if you make it, you know, educational, whatever. But real hard-core? No.

Candy: In Europe…

Harvey Wasserman: Europe is Europe.

Candy: Yeah. Uh, chicken soup.

Waiter: Matzo ball?

Candy: Nah, just soup with noodles.

Waiter: That’s it?

Candy: Yeah.

Harvey Wasserman: Uh, kishka, side of gravy.

Waiter: Thank you.

Harvey Wasserman: Thank you.

Candy: What’s kishka?

Harvey Wasserman: You don’t wanna know. So, you wanna do one of my Thursday night numbers? I… you got the look for it. I’ll give you 10 a head off the cover.

Candy: 10? I hear you’re pocketing 40 a head.

Harvey Wasserman: 10 each to you on a room of 60 guys jerking off. That’s $600 for one half-and-half. That’s good money for the life.

Candy: Yeah, for the life.

Harvey Wasserman: I thought that’s why you looked me up. You don’t want the work?

Candy: I wanna learn how to make movies.

Harvey Wasserman: I told you, that’s nickel and dime.

Candy: If they can make and sell that in Europe, it’s not gonna be long before we can make and sell it here.

Harvey Wasserman: How do you know?

Candy: It’s America, right? When do we ever leave a fucking dollar for the other guy to pick up? If I’m wrong, well, at least I learned something about making movies. Maybe I can go out to California, go work for Disney or some shit. And if I’m right…

Harvey Wasserman: Well, aren’t you the smart one?

Waiter: Kishka.

Harvey Wasserman: Thank you.

Waiter: Soup. Givis.

Harvey Wasserman: What would your man say?

Candy: No man.

Harvey Wasserman: I mean, you know, your business manager.

Candy: Yeah, I’m not pimped. I never have been.

Harvey Wasserman: I like you. But, um… I’m barely scratching it out as it is. I don’t need more overhead. If I get back to putting film in the camera, you could stand in front. You’re pretty enough. Could, um, make a nice paycheck, no problem. You know, they used to give you more kishka, like three chunks.



Submit Nickel and Dime Idiom Examples

Do you know an example of this idiom from another movie or TV show?

Please send us your suggestion, and we could feature it in the next update.

Click here to submit idiom examples.


Nickel and Dime Idiom


← N Idioms ?️ O Idioms →


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments