p1 "I have a load of quarters but my bank doesn't have a coin machine and I don't feel like giving Coinstar a cut of my monies."

p2 "Put em in the sleeves yourself."

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    Not sure (I've never heard this usage of "sleeve" before), but maybe he means the paper coin wrappers that sorting machines might put coins into? I think Person 1 is complaining that their bank doesn't have a machine to sort quarters into wrappers (or "sleeves") and Person 2 is telling Person 1 to put the coins in the wrappers themself, without the aid of the sorting machine. I think. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 15 '12 at 17:09
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    I think this particular use of "sleeve" for "coinage wrapper" is Too Localised. – FumbleFingers May 15 '12 at 17:17
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    The title is not the question -- you need to write it in the body, with context and background info. Did you overhear this in the US? the UK? elsewhere? rural/ countryside? Could it be slang? – Kris May 15 '12 at 17:28
  • @FrustratedWithFormsDesigner is spot on. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 May 15 '12 at 17:35
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    I'm in the U.S., and I've heard the paper wrappers for rolls of coins called sleeves. – JLG May 15 '12 at 17:37

Based on the context, I'd say P2 is using the term coin sleeve to refer to the paper wrappers used to roll coins.

After doing some preliminary research, however, I'd also wager some coin that the word "sleeve" is being misapplied in that context. A more accurate term would be coin wrapper.

A Google image search on "coin sleeve" shows that term is usually used for protective coverings used by numismatists to protect collectable coins, such as the ones shown below. Also, Macmillan's online dictionary would support using the word sleeve to describe such a protector:

sleeve: a paper or plastic cover that protects something such as a record or a book

enter image description here

All that said, I agree with the comments; I had no problem discerning the meaning based on the context, and I doubt I'd "correct" anyone for calling the wrappers sleeves.

  • I wouldn't correct anyone either. There is a lot of room in language for metaphor, and this particular choice is not a leap of logic by any means. If anything a record sleeve is less a sleeve because it has only one opening, unlike the sleeves of my shirt! – horatio May 15 '12 at 17:50
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    I actually like 'sleeve' to describe the kind of paper container that is usually used for coin exchanges. The container is a cylindrical tube into which the items are placed to be joined and stabilized. This reflects the other sense of 'sleeve' as a tubular container, as with shirt sleeves and sleeves in machinery. I've also heard the word applied to tubular bags for coffee cup lids for the same reason. These types of containers aren't really wrapped about the items, so calling them wrappers feels far more strange to me than sleeves does. – Charles W May 15 '12 at 17:51
  • @horatio: I agree. In fact, when I started checking around, I expected to find plenty of references to the wrappers as sleeves. Had that been the case, I might have voted to close instead of posting an answer. But what I learned I found interesting, so I decided to share it. The difference is perhaps minimal in conversation, but it could prove useful if you were looking to buy either sleeves or wrappers in bulk. – J.R. May 15 '12 at 18:00
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    Any long[-ish] flimsy "paperlike" wrapper can be called a sleeve. For example, a sleeve of cigarettes is 10 packs of 20 = 200 cigarettes. – FumbleFingers May 15 '12 at 18:06

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