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].
|Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 20: They’ll bring them a dollar though, ay, or six shillings.|
|‘Tear Duff Billy’ Ri-tum Ti-tum Songster 16: My eyes, varn’t I in luck, / For I picked up a dollar.|
|Handley Cross (1854) 195: ‘There’s five shillings for you,’ giving him a dollar.|
|‘Sunday Trading Bill’ in Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 115: Or else a dollar he will have to pay.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) 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’.|
|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.|
|Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 43: I’ll take half-a-sovereign for the lot. Well, then, say a dollar. No?|
|Ballads of Babylon 3: I’m done this time, for a dollar — I can hardly get my breath.‘Fallen by the Way’|
|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’.|
|‘’Arriet on Labour’ in Punch 26 Aug. 89/1: She sat snivellin’ o’er that dollar.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 11 Sept. 1/1: They both nightly do in a dollar.|
|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!‘A Tongue Tax’|
|Illus. Police News 17 Sept. 12/3: ‘Two couters (sovereigns) and a couple of dollars; what a treat’.Devil of Dartmoor in|
|(?) ‘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!|
|(con. WWI) Little Ship 226: ’Oo is it ’oo borrowed ’arf-a-dollar orf me last payday.‘A Little Drop o’ Leaf’|
|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.’.|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 62: His pictures were hired from an agency at ‘a dollar a week’.|
|Otterbury Incident 112: A simple, ordinary coin of the realm, vulgarly known as half a crack or a demi-dollar.|
|Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 175: Five shillings is a ‘dollar’.|
|Crust on its Uppers 64: A dollar to the door-holding morrie.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 61: Years ago things were good, you got value out of your money, a dollar was five bob.East in|
|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.
|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.
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 25 Jan. 3/2: The Cyclorama and the aquaria are raking in the dollars fast.|
|‘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.|
|Fifty Years (2nd edn) I 147: I recommended the keepers and beaters to put their dollars on me.|
|Deadmeat 19: They’d [...] get their dollars, buy some plug or crack, get high.|
|Layer Cake 109: They just want the same as your very good self: lotta dollar, peace and quiet.|
|(con. 1981) East of Acre Lane 162: Pay me some dollars, dread.|
|Hooky Gear 20: Trouble bein you cant steal a tit job. You have to commit the dollars.|
|Dirty South 43: I’ve still been on road making dollars.|
|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.
|Mona (2004) 174: I [...] gave him [i.e. a drug dealer] one hundred and ten dollars – a dollar and a dime in his language.|
|Drugs from A to Z (1970).|
|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.’.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 8: Dollar — $100 worth of drugs.|
SE in slang uses
(US gay) a male prostitute who claims that his penis is so large that even charging by the inch he could still get rich.
|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.|
(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.
|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.|
|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.|
(US) a cheap prostitute.
|Texas Stories (1995) 16: A dollar-woman come by and give us the eye.‘So Help Me’|
|Neon Wilderness (1986) 273: A dollar-woman come by and give us the eye.|