Where’d we get the expression “You bet your sweet bippy!”? It’s from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, a zany television show from the late 1960s. The word bippy, by the way, means “butt.” The phrase “You bet your sweet bippy” is a linguistic descendant of earlier versions that go back to at least the 1880s, when phrases like “You bet your sweet life” were commonly used. The show also popularized such phrases as “Sock it to me!” and “Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Mimeographs and Dittos (episode #1502) 06/24/2018: In this episode: How colors got their names, and a strange way to write. The terms blue and orange arrived in English via French, so... [more]
- Spicy Jambalaya 06/18/2018: Teen slang from the South, and food words that are tricky to pronounce. • High schoolers in Huntsville, Alabama, told Martha and Grant about their... [more]
- Chopped Liver 06/10/2018: There's a proverb that goes "beloved children have many names." At least, that's true when it comes to the names we give our pets. "Fluffy"... [more]
- Busted Melon 06/02/2018: When writing textbooks about slavery, which words best reflect its cold, hard reality? Some historians are dropping the word slave in favor of terms like... [more]
- Truth and Beauty 05/28/2018: Malamute, kayak, and parka are just some of the words that have found their way into English from the language of indigenous people in northern... [more]