Would you rather have a wooden nickel or a Yankee dime? For some reason I always thought both terms meant roughly the same thing—fake money. Surprise, surprise! They don’t.
In the United States, a wooden nickel is a wooden token coin, usually issued by a merchant or bank as a promotion, sometimes redeemable for a specific item such as a drink.
A Yankee dime is a quick, innocent kiss. A peck. A child-like term used by/for children in the Southern United States. (More common in countryside-raised, ‘older’ southern families). Often it’s used as payment for a service: “I’ll give you a Yankee dime if you’ll bring me a glass of lemonade.”
Now that I know the difference, I think I’d prefer a Yankee dime to a wooden nickel, but I guess it depends on who’s offering.
My cousin, Effron White wrote a song about a Yankee Dime. I vaguely remember having a conversation with him about the meaning of the phrase back when we were kids. But we never discussed wooden nickels. I’m blaming him for my lack of understanding.
Here’s his song. Enjoy!