Home » Segments » Meteoric Rise

Meteoric Rise

Play episode

Why do we say someone whose career on the ascent is enjoying a meteoric rise? Don’t meteors plummet? For that matter, a caller asks, why do we call “heads up!” when a ball is coming towards us? Shouldn’t it be “heads down”? The hosts explain that “meteoric” in “meteoric rise” refers to the speedy, brightly streaking nature of a meteor. As for “heads up,” well, no language is perfect. This is part of a complete episode.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Catillate, Agelastic, and Latibulate

Inkhorn terms are bloated, fancy, show-off words formed by cramming Latin and Greek roots into English. The name references little bottles made from animal horn that 14th-century English scribes used to carry their ink. Lexicographer Henry...

All Out Are In Free!

Kylie Ryan, an elementary-school teacher in Seattle, Washington, remembers that when she played hide-and-seek as a child, the call for everyone to come in was alle alle oxen free. Are there other versions? Yes, and because these sayings were not...

Segments