Judy in Miami, Florida, wonders how the expression squeaky clean came to mean spotless, whether literally or metaphorically. At least as early as the 1930s, the squeaky clean referred to hair that was so free of oil and dirt it makes a squeaking sound between your fingers. Later, TV commercials for Ajax dishwashing liquid played upon that idea, touting the so-called Ajax squeak that results from using that soap to wash dishes. This is part of a complete episode.
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- Cool Beans (episode #1570) 05/31/2021: If you speak a second or third language, you may remember the first time you dreamed in that new tongue. But does this milestone mean... [more]
- Love Bites (episode #1569) 05/17/2021: The word filibuster has a long and colorful history, going back to the days when pirates roamed the high seas. Today it refers to hijacking... [more]
- Lasagna Hog (episode #1568) 05/04/2021: Understanding the varieties of conversational styles can mean the difference between feeling you're understood and being insulted. "High-involvement" speakers interrupt or talk along with someone... [more]
- Kiss the Cow (episode #1567) 04/19/2021: An anadrome is a word that forms a whole new word when you spell it backwards. For example, the word "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts."... [more]