Learn English – What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”


When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?

Best Answer

It means that you are paying a price of 'X' for every dollar it is worth.

For example, if you are buying a refrigerator worth $100 for $60, you are paying at 60 cents on a dollar.

This expression can be used when something is sold at a premium too. Like, someone can sell you a stock at $1.50 on a dollar.

The use of this phrase can help people calculate profit or loss percentage pretty fast. I guess that could be the origin of the expression too.