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Old 06-09-2009, 10:31 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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[Origin of Phrase/Saying] Your money's no good here

"Your money's no good here."

How did this phrase come to mean, at least be used now and then, as meaning that the drink/product/service will be on the house?

It sounds as though there are negative implications of your business in the establishment in general, yet you'll still be allowed your drink/product/service, but it's paid for by the house.

Why?

If you say "your kind is no good here" it definately means for you to get the hell out of there.

But why do you continue to get service, for free, if your money is no good there?
  #2  
Old 06-09-2009, 10:42 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Language -- especially idiomatic language -- is under no obligation to be logical. Someone started using the phrase to mean, "I'll serve you but I won't take your money" and it caught on.

Very often the literal meaning of a phrase is not the same as its usage.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 06-09-2009 at 10:43 PM.
  #3  
Old 06-09-2009, 10:48 PM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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When I was younger, I always thought it meant something negative like, "your money's no good here, instead I want you to do the dishes to pay for your meal." It took me a while to catch on to that idiom.
  #4  
Old 06-09-2009, 10:51 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenata67 View Post
When I was younger, I always thought it meant something negative like, "your money's no good here, instead I want you to do the dishes to pay for your meal." It took me a while to catch on to that idiom.
See, that makes sense too.

If I didn't already know what it meant, if someone told me my money was no good somewhere, my first response would be, "Why the fuck not?"
  #5  
Old 06-09-2009, 10:51 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Often when people are offered to be treated, they politely try to turn down the invitation.

The phrase is a jocularly gruff way of insisting that they take the treat. They are being told that, since they are unable to pay themselves, they have no choice but to accept the hospitality. It's a way to cut off argument.

Last edited by Colibri; 06-09-2009 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:17 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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I always figured this was a case of an older NEGATIVE catchphrase being turned on its head, and used in a positive way.

That is, in the Old West, if a scruffy, undesirable-looking person walked into a saloon, he might have been told sternly, "Your money's no good here," as in "We don't intend to serve you, so get lost."

In the Old South, a black man seeking to eat at a resturant or shop at a whites-only store might have been told the same thing. In that situation, "Your money's no good here "meant, "I don't care if you have money to spend, YOU are not welcome here."

Over time, those practices have largely vanished, but people remembered the old phrase, and started using it in a different way. If, for example, a bunch of guys are taking a buddy out to a resytaurant or bar for his birthday, they may tell him, "You money's no good here," meaning "Tonight, you don't pay for anything, it's all on us."
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:44 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I think astorian's got it. It originally meant, "You're not welcome here." Later, it was used in a mock-hostile manner to mean "It's my treat," because guys like to show their love with their fists.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:30 PM
Driver8 Driver8 is online now
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Exactly. I think this is an example that can be both used in the negative and positive way, and it would be obvious from context which was intended.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:45 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Does anyone have any evidence of the phrase being used in a hostile or exclusionary way? I have never heard it used like that, and as Reality Chuck points out, idioms don't have to make logical sense, so the fact that that "should" be the source of it is irrelevant.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:01 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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I'm with Colibri. I've never heard of it having been a negative, exclusionary phrase that then turned positive, although that seems a reasonable theory. I came up dry when I checked the usual online phrase-origin websites, FWIW.

A variant I've heard is "Put your money away, it's no good here."
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:11 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I came up with several negative uses without much effort --

-- The big three networks refused to sell ads for the Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD close to the election.

-- Gisele Bundchen refuses to accept payment for her services in U.S. dollars.

-- Airlines will not accept cash for most in-flight transactions.

-- British banks may refuse to open accounts for American depositors.

-- Take Two's shareholders refuse a buyout offer from E.A.
  #12  
Old 06-10-2009, 02:36 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray View Post
I came up with several negative uses without much effort....
I never doubted there were and are such contemporary uses. My question was whether that was the original use of the phrase, and later becoming a friendly but stubborn insistence on treating someone.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:29 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Does anyone have any evidence of the phrase being used in a hostile or exclusionary way? I have never heard it used like that, and as Reality Chuck points out, idioms don't have to make logical sense, so the fact that that "should" be the source of it is irrelevant.
I know some old Western used it to mean they wouldn't do business with that person. I have no desire to find one that does this for the thread.
  #14  
Old 06-10-2009, 03:48 PM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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"Homer, you know your money is no good here—Hey wait, this is real money!"
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:15 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I seem to recall hearing it in Westerns as well.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:45 PM
zut zut is offline
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First use in Google Books is from Jack London, interestingly, in a hobo story published in The Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1908.
Quote:
I dug down and laid another dime on the bar, remarking carelessly, "Oh, I thought this was a five-cent joint."

"Your money's no good here," he answered, shoving the two dimes back across the bar to me.

Sadly, I dropped them back into my pocket; sadly we yearned toward the blessed stove and armchairs...
Clearly a negative connotation. This bit shows up in The Road a few years later (which book I've actually read, and is actually a fascinating book by a great writer).

Last edited by zut; 06-10-2009 at 04:48 PM.
  #17  
Old 06-10-2009, 06:01 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Okay, so negative connotations have some basis in truth, which is understandable, as the saying makes a ton more sense that way.

What about when you deny someone's use of money, but still provide their desired service?
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:54 PM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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vindication!

Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
I always figured this was a case of an older NEGATIVE catchphrase being turned on its head, and used in a positive way.
...
I feel marginally vindicated now. When I was younger, my siblings and parents used to kid me about my misunderstanding of this phrase. They didn't seem to get that it could be negative.

I should show them this thread... *VICTORY FIST!*
  #19  
Old 06-10-2009, 08:14 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Covered_In_Bees! View Post
Okay, so negative connotations have some basis in truth, which is understandable, as the saying makes a ton more sense that way.

What about when you deny someone's use of money, but still provide their desired service?
As I said before, it's guys showing their love by punching each other in the arm. It's affection in the guise of hostility.
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