sell for a song(redirected from was selling something for a song)
sell for a song
1. To be available for purchase at a very (and perhaps surprisingly) low price. This computer used to be nearly $2,000 when it debuted a year ago, but it's selling for a song now.
2. To sell something a very (and perhaps surprisingly) low price. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sell" and "for a song." The company is having a liquidation sale at the moment, and they're selling all their inventory for a song.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
sell something for a song
Fig. to sell something for very little money. (As in trading something of value for the singing of a song.) I had to sell my car for a song because I needed the money in a hurry. I have two geometry books and I would sell one of them for a song.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
for a song, to go/to buy/to sell
Something sold or bought for a trifling sum, by implication for far less than its worth. The expression is believed to come from the pennies given to itinerant songsters performing outside inns and public houses (bars), as well as the very small amount required to buy sheet music. The expression dates from the sixteenth century. Shakespeare used it in All’s Well That Ends Well (“I know a man . . . sold a goodly manor for a song” [3.2]). It was a cliché by the time Byron wrote, “The cost would be a trifle—an ‘old song’” (Don Juan, 1824).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer