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Bright as a dollar

Posted by R. Berg on July 24, 2007

In Reply to: Bright as a dollar posted by Rachel on July 23, 2007

: Where does the saying "bright as a dollar" come from? A definition plus a derivation would be good. Obviously it means very bright, eager, etc. I did a search on the internet and it's used often enough, but I couldn't find out what it meant or how it came to be. I can assume it must have something to do with a silver dollar as a dollar bill is not very bright. Any ideas?

I agree that a silver dollar (or a gold one) must be the original. Silver dollars were formerly more common than now. Any shiny or light-emitting object (bulbs, lamps) will do as a model for brightness. ~rb