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Make the nut

Posted by ESC on June 02, 2011 at 01:53

In Reply to: Make the nut posted by larry on May 09, 2011 at 09:33:

: "Make the nut." I have heard it is a reference to carnivals of the 19th century which would come into towns. The sheriff would take the nut off the main wagon and would not return it until all local debts were cleared. "Making the nut" meant making enough to pay local costs. It makes sense, except for the fact that the carnival people certainly could have carried replacement nuts with them.

One reference says it is an entertainment term from the mid 20th century. Means earning enough to pay for initial costs, etc. After the nut is earned, the enterprise starts to turn a profit. “Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang” by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998). Page 855. But it doesn't say why "nut" is used in that way.