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Turn Left at the Whoopsy-Daisy

Linda from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, gives directions to her remote home by telling people to turn left after the whoopsy-daisy, her term for a sudden dip in the road. There are quite a few colloquial expressions for such abrupt depression or...

Airplane Bath

Over the years, we’ve had several conversations about terms for washing up quickly without getting in the tub, such as taking a bird bath or a possible bath. A listener chimes in with her family’s version. They take an airplane bath —...

How Much = What’s Their Name

Jack from Sentinel Butte, North Dakota, reports that in his part of the world, people sometimes inquire about a person’s last name with a question that combines the person’s first name with the phrase How Much, as in Jack How Much? This...

It’s the Pits, but What are the Pits?

Miranda, a nurse in Altoona, Pennsylvania, had a patient who described her hospital food as the pits, meaning it wasn’t good. The expressions the pits and in the pits arose out of 1950s college slang, and derive from the notion of smelly...

January Mnemonic Updated

“Mnemonic,” a poem by Brian Bilston, cleverly sums up what many of us feel about the month of January. It’s included in his latest book, Days Like These: An Alternative Guide to the Year in 366 Poems (Bookshop|Amazon), and shared...