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What does "dummy up" mean here?

The cops wouldn't tell me who the owner was, but we're a military town, so I took a chance. Called my insurance (USAA) and as luck would have it, that was the other guy's insurance too!...Got my mechanic to dummy up a $50 statement, just to submit it to USAA and have it on the douche's record. That's what he gets for being a lying asshole.

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by itself I would have figured 'to dummy up' meant 'to shut up': 'Why don't you dummy up' = ' Shut up' = (rudely) 'Be quiet'. But the usage here seems to be 'make a dummy' = 'make up a false copy'. That is using 'dummy' as a known for a fake, then verbing it as a common phrasal verb pattern with 'up'. –  Mitch Jun 5 '12 at 16:50
    
We do this all the time. You make up some placeholder text and/or graphics prior to a final just as something to work with. Dummy up some copy, dummy up a flyer, dummy up a one page report, etc. –  mikeY Jun 5 '12 at 16:53
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Voting general reference, since 'dummy' in verb context is readily available in dictionaries. –  lindanaughton Jun 5 '12 at 17:09
    
In case it helps, I believe that “douche” is some sort of U.S. getto and/or little children’s slang meaning “dummy”, “dolt”, “jerk”, or “idiot”. In other words, a meaningless pejorative for someone we don’t like. Compare U.K. “wanker”. –  tchrist Jun 5 '12 at 17:55
    
@Mitch: As you say, this can not be easily and clearly resolved by consulting a dictionary, so it isn't a General Reference, is it? –  Cerberus Dec 20 '12 at 22:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It means to create a fake or (more commonly in computer engineering) a placeholder for an actual object.

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According to Green's Dictionary of Slang, dummy up has several meanings:-

dummy (up) v. (SE dummy, a sham) (US) to concoct a fraud, to fake something up

Alternatively

dummy up v.

  1. to pose as a mute
  2. to stop talking
  3. to keep quiet, to keep secret

In the example you cite it looks like the the first (fraud, fake) meaning is intended.

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Because I've never come across any of that second set of definitions before, I just searched Google Books for "can dummy up", which seemed like a reasonable sequence to be used in either sense. Of 29 results, at least 20 were obviously for the "fake up" meaning, and I could only see one (cop talking to taciturn suspect) for the "silence" meaning. Are you citing it because you know and use it, or just because it was given in Green's? –  FumbleFingers Dec 20 '12 at 22:50
    
@FumbleFingers, I may have used it to mean "keep quiet, keep secret" in my schoolboy days (when one has to do that sort of thing) but I can't remember. Certainly not for any of the other meanings. –  Brian Hooper Dec 21 '12 at 8:43

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