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.
- Chocolate Gravy 08/05/2017: Say you have an acquaintance you always see at the dog park or the playground. But one night, you run into them at the movies,... [more]
- Fickle Finger of Fate 07/29/2017: A young woman wants a family-friendly way to describe a statement that's fraudulent or bogus, but all the words she can think of sound old-fashioned.... [more]
- Flop Sweat 07/24/2017: Gerrymandering draws political boundaries to tip elections towards certain political parties. Originally, the word was pronounced "GARY-mandering" with a hard "g." But why? And why... [more]
- Smile Belt 07/17/2017: The only time you'll ever see the sun's outer atmosphere is during a full solar eclipse, when sun itself is completely covered. That hazy ring... [more]
- A Shoo-in 07/10/2017: This week it’s butterflies, belly flowers, plot bunnies, foxes, and cuckoos. Also, writing advice from Mark Twain and a wonderful bit of prose from Sara... [more]