five-and-ten(redirected from a five and ten)
A store that sells goods at low prices (at one time, for literally 5 and 10 cents). Primarily heard in US. We can get that cheaper at the five-and-ten, you know. We had to start shopping at five-and-tens after my dad lost his job.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, five-and-dime. A retail store selling a variety of items for very low prices. The original store of this kind (five-and-ten-cent store) dates from the first half of the 1900s, and although current prices are far more than five or ten cents, the name persists. Sometimes varied to nickel and dime, the term also came to be used as an adjective meaning low-paid, as in Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, a 2001 book by Barbara Ehrenreich.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer