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Frustrations

What do you say when you’re frustrated? There’s always, “I’ll be jumped up and down, bowlegged, and Johnny Busheart!” Or “For cryin’ out loud and weepin’ in public!” This is part of a complete...

Lousy With

What does it mean to be lousy with, as in “She was lousy with diamonds”? Lousy comes from the English word louse, as in lice. To be lousy with means “to have lots of something.” This is part of a complete episode.

Dorothy Parker Book Reviews

You don’t want Dorothy Parker reviewing your novel — at least not when she’s dropping zingers like “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.” Parker did have a way with words. How...

1946 Police Slang

A Tacoma, Wash., police report from 1946 is chock-full of showy police slang, from the punk on the stem to the handle of the beefer. Read the whole thing here. This is part of a complete episode.

Call Hocks

To hox, or hocks, means to call dibs on something, as in “You better hox shotgun if you want to sit up front for the eight-hour drive to Grandma’s!” This is part of a complete episode.

So Don’t I

The New England phrase “So don’t I”, meaning you agree, is so embedded in the culture that it’s now part of the regional stereotype. Linguist Larry Horn has discussed the phenomenon, as have we. This is part of a complete...

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