Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 14:09:52 -0600


Subject: buck and a half

I have obviously been asleep or on another planet, because this was a new

one to me when it came up in hel class today (we were talking about

register): the expression buck and a half being used in a whole slew of

nonliteral senses:

1. =$150 (context: a car repair)

2. distance in yards to the putting green (about a buck eighty from

the flag)

3. other sports usages I can't remember right now

4. weight: he weighs about a buck seventy (= 170 lbs)

5. a penny and a half (ante in a poker game, =$1.50)

6 a minute and a half (we'll be back in a buck and a half, after

these messages -- TV sportscaster introducing commercial break)

7. any other number in a nonliteral context between 100-199 (not

used, so my students tell me, with numbers greater than 199: you can't say

2 bucks eighty for a $280 repair)

acc. to the students, it seems to be a guy thing (guy, as in [+male]),

sports thing.

I assume this isn't new to you guys (guys, as in non-gendered). Any other




Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Department of English office: 217-333-2392

University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321

608 South Wright Street home: 217-384-1683

Urbana, Illinois 61801