Kathleen from Ithaca, New York, remembers her mother saying Go fry ice! meaning “Bug off!” It’s probably a minced oath replacing a phrase that exhorts the hearer to go do something else that starts with F. The earliest known recorded use of Go fry ice was in 1929 in a wildly popular, serialized novel by Ruth Dewey Groves called Rich Girl Poor Girl, later published as a book. Other phrases that mean the same thing: go fly a kite, go fly a kite in a telephone booth, go fry an egg, and go fry your face. A Yiddish saying along these lines translates as “Go whistle in the ocean.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Baby's Breath (episode #1545) 03/23/2020: Have you ever googled your own name and found someone else who goes by the very same moniker? There's a word for that: googleganger. Plus,... [more]
- Hog on Ice (episode #1544) 03/09/2020: One secret to writing well is … there is no secret! There's no substitute for simply sitting down day after day to practice the craft... [more]
- Goody Two-Shoes (episode #1543) 02/24/2020: She sells seashells by the seashore. Who is the she in this tongue twister? Some claim it's the young Mary Anning, who went on to... [more]
- Baby Blues (episode #1542) 02/10/2020: A hundred years ago, suffragists lobbied to win women the right to vote. Linguistically speaking, though, suffrage isn't about "suffering." It's from a Latin word... [more]
- Walkie Talkie (episode #1541) 01/27/2020: One of the most powerful words you'll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn't in dictionaries yet. But it probably will... [more]