A St. Petersburg, Florida, listener says when she used to ask her mother what was for dinner, her mom’s answer was often “root, little pig, or die,” meaning “You’ll have to fend for yourself.” The more common version of the expression, root, hog, or die, goes all the way back to the memoirs of Davy Crockett, published in 1834. It refers to a time when hogs weren’t fenced in and had to find most of their own food. This is part of a complete episode.
- Brollies and Bumbershoots 04/16/2018: If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States! In Britain,... [more]
- Cool Your Soup 04/09/2018: According to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, it's important to master the basics of writing, but there comes a time when you have to strike out... [more]
- Put on the Dog 04/02/2018: Why isn't "you're welcome" the default response to "thank you" for everyone? Plus lies that kids tell, Philadelphia lawyer, cowbelly, skutch, mind-bottling vs. mind-boggling, tsundoku,... [more]
- Fighting Artichokes 03/25/2018: What's in a mascot name? Maybe you're a fan of the Banana Slugs, or you cheer for the Winged Beavers. Perhaps your loyalty lies with... [more]
- Gee and Haw 03/12/2018: The highly specialized vocabulary of people who work outdoors, communicating with sled dogs, a word from the sport of rock-climbing, church key, browse line, smeuse,... [more]