The phrase a dime a dozen refers to something very plentiful, common, and therefore, inexpensive. A dime is a unit of U.S. currency that is one tenth of a dollar, or ten cents. The dime was first minted in 1796. In the 1800s, many goods such as eggs or apples were advertised to cost a dime a dozen in the United States. A phrase that began as a way to tout good value for the money evolved into a phrase that means something nearly worthless by virtue of its commonness and easy availability. In 1930, we see the first printed used of the phrase a dime a dozen to mean something common and unremarkable, the meaning a dime a dozen still has today.
Superhero sequels are a dime a dozen at the cineplex, and they often suffer from quality-control issues. (The Washington Post)
I never really considered myself “smart” based on traditional measures, but as Walter Isaacson said “Smart people are a dime a dozen.” (The Huffington Post)
Belsky, author of Making Ideas Happen, tells us why ideas are a dime a dozen while execution is the real key to success. (The Business Insider)
There’s nothing English rugby doesn’t know about pools of death just now, and pools of death are a dime a dozen in the new Europe. (The Guardian)
Feuds are a dime a dozen on “The Real Housewives” series, but few are as tragic as the rift between sisters Kim and Kyle Richards on “Beverly Hills.” (The New York Post)
Being a bachelor degree graduate may have been enough 20 years ago, but these days they’re a dime a dozen, says Josh Licence. (The Sydney Morning Herald)