Posted by Masakim on October 23, 2003
In Reply to: Deep Pockets/Short arms posted by Anders on October 23, 2003
: : : : : : : : : Got into a debate the other day about the meaning of the phrase "Mr. Deep Pockets".
: : : : : : : : : I always thought it meant that said person had lots of money.
: : : : : : : : : My counterpart said it meant that Mr. Deep Pockets never wanted to pay for anything, hence they couldn't get to their money in time to pay for anything because their pockets were so deep.
: : : : : : : : : I couldn't find anything on this website related to
: : : : : : : : : Deep Pockets
: : : : : : : : : Any thoughts??
: : : : : : : : It means the person (or company or institution) has a lot of money. "People sue the insurance companies because they have deep pockets."
: : : : : : : Another example from an online article: "Regular donations from the collection plates are off limits and insurance companies are balking, causing plaintiffs' lawyers to probe the deep pockets of the Vatican."
: : : : : : It means "cheapskate" but only when coupled with "short arms". As in, "Oh yeah, he's got deep pockets and short arms, huh?" You could nickname someone Mr. Deep Pockets, of course, and your circle of friends would know what you meant.
: : : : : If I remember correctly, there's a chap in a book by Raymond Chandler nicknamed (Mr) Deep Pockets. I did a serach on Google for it, but couldn't find anything. I don't think Chandler's books are yet available as free e-text. I've read it 10+ years ago, and, to confess, in the context, I thought the implication was that Mr Deep Pockets was a layabout...
: : : : : Anders
: : : : I've come across 2 versions - 'deep pockets' as above, especially speaking of utilities, insurance companies and government- meaning almost unlimited funds - you have to go down a long way before they can't find any money.
: : : : the other version is about individuals - to say somebody has short arms and deep pockets mean that the person does not like paying for things, especially their round in the pub.
: : : And then there's Axl Rose's complaint of a generation:
: : : But times are hard and thrills are cheaper
: : : As your arms get shorter
: : : Your pockets get deeper
: : : The meaning invested in the metaphor, in this excerpt from Right Next Door To Hell, is this: "We've got it tough, and it's getting tougher." Alternatively, you could argue that Axl's pockets are deep to have room for all the pills (thrills) he's popping. Why his arms get shorter, I don't know. It could a hallucination induced by the pills, or maybe it symbolizes his going into rehab.
: : : Anders
: : Perhaps Axl is encouraging disarmament by pointing out the cost savings to the taxpayers? Nah...
: Your guess is as good as mine.
Someone with *deep pockets* was very cheap; this meaning is quite different from the meaning the expression took on by the 1980s, when it was used largely to describe a wealthy or well-insured potential defendant in a lawsuit.
From "Chapter 7 The Mainstream 1960s," _Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang_ by Tom Dalzell