Green’s Dictionary of Slang

dollar n.1

1. five shillings (25p), a five-shilling coin (see cite 1910); obs. outside films, books etc. of a pre-metric era; thus half a dollar, 2s 6d [under the 1817–1931 gold standard £1 sterling was worth US$4].

[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 20: They’ll bring them a dollar though, ay, or six shillings.
[UK] ‘Tear Duff Billy’ Ri-tum Ti-tum Songster 16: My eyes, varn’t I in luck, / For I picked up a dollar.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 195: ‘There’s five shillings for you,’ giving him a dollar.
[UK] ‘Sunday Trading Bill’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 115: Or else a dollar he will have to pay.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor IV 249/2: [A madame] bought a house [...] with her five-shilling pieces which she had the questionable taste to call ‘Dollar House’.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 44/1: I knows you’re hard up, and if a dollar’s any good to you, you shall have it.
[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 43: I’ll take half-a-sovereign for the lot. Well, then, say a dollar. No?
[UK]G.R. Sims ‘Fallen by the Way’ Ballads of Babylon 3: I’m done this time, for a dollar — I can hardly get my breath.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Apr. 3/3: A man recently said, ‘Lend me a dollar. My wife has left me and I want to advertise that I am not responsiblke for hger debts’.
[UK] ‘’Arriet on Labour’ in Punch 26 Aug. 89/1: She sat snivellin’ o’er that dollar.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 11 Sept. 1/1: They both nightly do in a dollar.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Tongue Tax’ Sporting Times 6 June 1/3: I’m entitled to some neighbourly comment; / And I must class such a person as a frivolous old cat, / If the fine should be a dollar on my rent!
[UK]D. Stewart Devil of Dartmoor in Illus. Police News 17 Sept. 12/3: ‘Two couters (sovereigns) and a couple of dollars; what a treat’.
[Aus] H. Lawson (?) ‘Reformation of Johnson’ in Roderick (1972) 851: The last time I met Johnson he was dirty, in rags [...] and fearfully shaky. He wanted a dollar, for God’s sake!
[UK](con. WWI) ‘Taffrail’ ‘A Little Drop o’ Leaf’ Little Ship 226: ’Oo is it ’oo borrowed ’arf-a-dollar orf me last payday.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 46: ‘Take this oncer,’ he said. ‘You can get into one of those bed and breakfast joints for a dollar. And keep the change.’.
[UK]S. Jackson Indiscreet Guide to Soho 62: His pictures were hired from an agency at ‘a dollar a week’.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 112: A simple, ordinary coin of the realm, vulgarly known as half a crack or a demi-dollar.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 175: Five shillings is a ‘dollar’.
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 64: A dollar to the door-holding morrie.
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 61: Years ago things were good, you got value out of your money, a dollar was five bob.
[Ire]J. O’Connor Salesman 26: Is it a dollar a week? Are you jokin’ me, man? [...] (A dollar was Seánie’s word for five shillings).

2. (S.Afr.) 1s 6d.

[SA]B. Mitford Fire Trumpet I 100: Give you a dollar* to five bob he’s twenty minutes from now. Is that on? (*Rix dollar, 1s.6d.).

3. money; usu. in pl.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 25 Jan. 3/2: The Cyclorama and the aquaria are raking in the dollars fast.
[UK] ‘To Mr Rudyard Kipling’ in Punch 14 Feb. 83: How you must laugh to rake the dollars in, / The publishers — how badly you must bleed them.
[UK]J. Astley Fifty Years (2nd edn) I 147: I recommended the keepers and beaters to put their dollars on me.
[UK]‘Q’ Deadmeat 19: They’d [...] get their dollars, buy some plug or crack, get high.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 109: They just want the same as your very good self: lotta dollar, peace and quiet.
[UK](con. 1981) A. Wheatle East of Acre Lane 162: Pay me some dollars, dread.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 20: Trouble bein you cant steal a tit job. You have to commit the dollars.
[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 43: I’ve still been on road making dollars.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 75: ‘Make sure he says his vision is all messed up. He’ll get nuff dollars for that’ .

4. (US black/Und.) $100; $100 worth of drugs.

[US]L. Block Mona (2004) 174: I [...] gave him [i.e. a drug dealer] one hundred and ten dollars – a dollar and a dime in his language.
[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970).
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 118: I pull out my wallet and look for four quarters. ‘No,’ he says, ostentatiously flicking a new $100 note in front of my face. ‘A dollar.’.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 8: Dollar — $100 worth of drugs.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

dollar-an-inch man (n.) [? play on SAmE dollar-a-year man, one who works for the government at a nominal salary]

(US gay) a male prostitute who claims that his penis is so large that even charging by the inch he could still get rich.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 18: a-dollar-an-inch man (hustler sl) one who claims he’s so large he could charge cocksuckers a dollar an inch and still come out ahead of what his rivals charge.
Sex-Lexis [Internet].
dollar store (n.)

(US Und.) a store that displayed valuable articles priced at one dollar in order to attract customers, who were then subjected to a variety of ‘short-con’ tricks.

[US]E. Crapsey Nether Side of N.Y. 72: Gift jewelry, prize candy, ‘Milton gold,’ gift concerts, dollar stores [...] and circular swindles of every description, have been only a few of his devices for wheedling people of their money.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 295: dollar store. An early form of the present-day big-store [...] The dollar store displayed valuable articles priced at one dollar in order to bring in marks, who were played for with short-con games.
dollar-woman (n.) [her price]

(US) a cheap prostitute.

[US]N. Algren ‘So Help Me’ Texas Stories (1995) 16: A dollar-woman come by and give us the eye.
[US]N. Algren Neon Wilderness (1986) 273: A dollar-woman come by and give us the eye.