Posted by Probe on December 25, 2007
In Reply to: The penny dropped posted by ESC on December 24, 2007
: : : "The penny dropped" I heard was based on the person who changed the reels in old movie theatres and had seen the movie so many times that they put a "penny" coin in the end of the first reel of two-reel movies and put the reel can under the projector so that when the first reel ran out the penny dropped into the reel and woke up the person who was snoozing out of boredom
: : All kinds of stories circulate, and a story isn't proof. Did the person you heard this one from provide evidence for it? Then there's the question of how to attach a penny to the inner end of the tightly wound film on the reel - and, assuming that could be done, whether the penny would interfere with the unwinding process. ~rb
: Another theory: it has to do with "the old penny-in-the-slot machine or device, such as a chocolate machine or doorlock..." "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by John Ayto (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 2005, Seventeenth Edition).
What is the meaning of the expression you are discussing (the penny dropped)?