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Origin of “Whistle Britches”

Whistle britches, a Southern term for fellows who draw a lot of attention to themselves, comes from the sound corduroy trousers make when you walk and the wales rub against each other. This is part of a complete episode.

Popinjay

What is a popinjay? Literally a parrot, this term is often used in a military context to refer to a vain or conceited officer with a Napoleon complex. And a bandbox boy? That once commonly referred to an officer who gave excessive attention to his...

Words That Will Color Your World

Happy September! In this week’s archive episode, “Sailor’s Delight,” we talk about weather proverbs, pooflapoo pie, tricks for remembering how to spell difficult words, and alternatives to the word “mentee.” We...

academic steroid

academic steroid  n.— «When she was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a sophomore at UC Berkeley, Ashley welcomed her prescription for the amphetamine Adderall. Juggling a full load of classes with athletic...

cutty

cutty  adj.— «In striking that balance between spontaneity and propulsion, most editors strive to leave no fingerprints, content to create an emotional experience for the audience that’s at once seamless and immersive. Editors have a word...