A listener in Springfield, Illinois, recalls that an elderly relative would respond to the question “How are you?” with the answer “Forked end down.” By that, he meant, “I’m fine.” If you’ve ever drawn a stick figure, you know that the forked end is where the feet are, so forked end down means someone’s feet are firmly planted on the ground. In the American West, “forked end up” long referred to the unfortunate position of a rider thrown from a horse. This is part of a complete episode.
- To Bat Wings and Eyes 02/20/2017: In the 17th century, the verb to bate and the likely related verb, to bat, were used in falconry to mean "to flap wildly." By... [more]
- Periodic Table Word Game 02/20/2017: Quiz Guy John Chaneski's puzzle is inspired by the periodic table, and involves adding the chemical symbol for an element to one word in order... [more]
- Light Bulbs Mean Ideas 02/20/2017: In comic strips, a bright idea is symbolized by a light bulb over a character's head. This association between an incandescent bulb and inspiration was... [more]
- More Things To Say To A Late Coworker 02/20/2017: Listeners weigh in on a call about what language to use with a co-worker who continually apologizes for being late, but doesn't change their behavior.... [more]
- "In Like Flynn" Origins 02/20/2017: To be in like Flynn means to be "quickly and easily successful." The phrase has long been associated with hard-living heartthrob Errol Flynn but was... [more]