Here's some context:

The lift’s taking an eternity. A smidgeon of Mr Staffa’s exceedingly pure cocaine would score 180 right now – my tea-time Red Bull’s worn off – but a glug of Kilmagoon Special Reserve from my cunningly concealed hip-flask will have to suffice.

It's from Earth calling Taylor short story by David Mitchell.

Possibly, it's reference to Scrabble score for word "smidgeon" or something because earlier in this story characters are talking about Scrabble a bit. Since I'm not a scrabble player I'm not really sure.


180 is the maximum possible score at darts. So to score 180 means, in this context, to be the best possible thing.

  • 1
    I'm not sure I'd interpret it so much as "the best possible thing" as merely be a very good thing. It's a matter of whether we consider it analogous to the context solely of darts (in which it is indeed the best possible thing) or more generally (in which throwing 180 in darts is certainly a good thing to do, but probably not the best possible thing one could imagine). This answer certainly has the gist of it, either way. – Jon Hanna Feb 8 '14 at 12:53
  • @JonHanna I can never see 180 without thinking of a semicircle’s degrees. Like how making a 180-degree turn goes in the opposite direction altogether. Or how on a thermometer dial measuring temperature using a needle that places freezing at the bottom of the circle and boiling at the top, you go 180 degrees to change state from freezing to boiling (a semicircular notion which was part of the original intent of the Fahrenheit scale, with the 32-degree offset to make the freezing of salt-water/brine the actual 0 point, due to its reliability in measurement in that day). – tchrist Feb 8 '14 at 17:04

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