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Bozo Buttons

Michael in San Diego, California, plays a game with his three-year-daughter that involves spotting small round property markers in the sidewalk, which he calls bozo buttons. His mother played the same game as a youngster, but calls those metal discs...

Oh My Stars and Garters

The exclamation “Oh my stars and garters!” likely arose from a reference to the British Order of the Garter. The award for this highest level of knighthood includes an elaborate medal in the shape of a star. The expression was probably...

Crocheted Gidote

Lauren from La Crescenta, California, says her 98-year-old grandfather uses a rather obscure saying. As a kid, if Lauren or her sister won a meaningless contest, he’d award them an imaginary prize he called the crocheted gidote. Or maybe...

Honored vs. Humbled

This awards season, many winners will say, “I’m humbled by this honor.” Ann from Burlington, Vermont, wonders: Shouldn’t they feel honored rather than humbled? What’s so humbling about winning awards? Grant argues that...

Lurve a Librarian

Greetings, Murphys and Melvins and wedgies, oh my! In this week’s archive episode, we talk about these and other terms for that cruel prank that involves a yank. Also, funny Facebook groups for grammar lovers, the difference between...

syngraphics

syngraphics  n.— «Gene Hessler…, of Cincinnati, Ohio, is best known as a paper money expert. He coined “syngraphics” as the term for collecting paper money.» —“Hessler recipient of Zerbe award” Numismatic...

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