We got a call from Sarah in Dresden, Germany, who’s applying to work for the State Department as foreign service officer. She was curious about an article that contained the term pinstriped cookie-pusher. According to William Safire’s Political Dictionary, this bit of derogatory slang came into use in the 1920s to refer to diplomats who were perceived as soft or even effeminate. These men in pinstriped suits would attend receptions at embassies where they’d push cookies instead of paper. This is part of a complete episode.
- Pop Stand 07/29/2016: When it comes to learning new things, what's on your bucket list? A retired book editor decided to try to learn Latin, and ended up... [more]
- Punch List 07/22/2016: Books for sale, books for free, and wisdom passed down through the ages. Libraries aren't just repositories for books -- they're often a great place... [more]
- Sweet Dreams 06/17/2016: In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the... [more]
- How We Roll 06/10/2016: If you're serious about writing a memoir, what topics should you include, and what can you leave out? And how honest can you really be... [more]
- Gangbusters 05/27/2016: Sensuous words and terms of endearment. Think of a beautiful word. Now, is it simply the word's sound that makes it beautiful? Or does its... [more]