a wooden nickel

a wooden nickel

A person or thing that only vaguely appears to have any real value, but is ultimately worthless. A nickel is worth five cents, thus already being worth very little. Primarily heard in US. This whole accreditation scheme has as much value as a wooden nickel when it does nothing to get you more work in the field.
See also: nickel, wooden

a wooden nickel

AMERICAN
If you call something a wooden nickel, you mean that it is completely false or has no value. Note: A nickel is a five cent coin and a dime is a ten cent coin. He looked at the card as though it were a wooden nickel. `That doesn't prove a thing,' he said.
See also: nickel, wooden
References in periodicals archive ?
net) lets you sign up for a wooden nickel mailing list and explains the history of the coins (originally, they were legal tender in certain places).
Doctors are human like everyone else, says consultant Quint Studer, "they want appreciation, and on a consistent basis," but few will sell their loyalty for a wooden nickel.
Additionally, to encourage recycling and reusing grocery bags, customers who bring their own bags to the store receive either a 5-cent refund or a Wooden Nickel for each bag, which is then donated to one of three local nonprofit groups.
Alongside rests a collection plate filled with various metaphysical IOU's: a subway token, a wooden nickel, a George V coin, a purloined disc from Le Sex Shoppe and so on.