A Dime a Dozen: a metaphor meaning plentiful and cheap, as in a dime (just 10 US cents) would pay for 12 units of whatever was concerned. The term probably originates from the USA in the 19th century when fruits and vegetables were in season and plentiful, and so were sold for a “dime a dozen.” Perhaps not as cheap as all that though; a dime in 1850 would be worth around USD $2.95 (2016 value). Still, even today that’s not expensive for 12 good quality pieces of fruit or vegetables!

A Gray Area: something not certain, and possibly not trustworthy. ­Perhaps a slightly unfair reference to the color gray, being neither white nor black and so unclear and rather vague, the term has been in use since the mid-20th century and is used to describe ...

Get English Business Jargon and Slang now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.