The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62890   Message #1018182
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
13-Sep-03 - 01:21 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: On the Nickel (Tom Waits)
Subject: RE: Tom Waits' 'On the Nickel
A 'nickel' is a person who is so far out of it that their contribution is worth only a nickel. A worthless person.

'On the Nickel' seems to be a slight twist on this; to apply to an alcoholic on the skids. At least that is what I gathered from the movie. One of those out flicks that come back to haunt you. (Never make the Oscars)

A 'nickel' is also a five-year prison term. There are other meanings as well. I don't know if it still applies to drugs; a 'dime-bag' seems to be the cheapest. In combination words, a 'nickel deck' is heroin (dunno how this name was arrived at).