Date: Fri, 6 May 1994 07:30:37 EDT


Subject: Re: Case quarter

A colleague of mine has asked about the distribution and derivation of

the expression 'a case quarter' - as in, Do you have a case quarter?

Meaning, an actual quarter, as opposed to (say) two dimes and a nickel.

I myself don't recall ever having heard it before - the only thing

I could find in the OED that's even remotely plausible is 'case' with

tobacco, meaning 'in good physical condition', or 'case' in 'case-shot',

meaning 'shot, of the kind that comes in cases ... Any ideas?

-- Cathy Ball (cball[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Having taught in rural schools here in Georgia in the mid-70's, I also

found a common use of "Case dime" and "case nickel," meaning "encased" (ie.

not being two nickels, five pennies, or, in the quarter's "case," two dimes

and a nickel, etc.). It was a general request when students wanted an

appropriate coin for a telephone, Coke machine, candy machine... Having

been Atlanta-bred, when I first offered one student a variety of change

after the request, I was rebuffed with "No, a 'case' quarter!" as if I

should immediately know he wanted a whole coin.

--David Muschell (Georgia College)