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Gunnysack Origin

Elsie from Fredericksburg, Texas, wonders if a gunnysack and a burlap bag are the same thing. Both are made from coarse fabric, but the word gunnysack is actually redundant, because the gunny goes back to a Sanskrit word that means “sack...

Barker’s Eggs

If you’re taking the dog for a walk, be sure to talk along a plastic bag to pick up any barker’s eggs. This is part of a complete episode.

Fishhooks in Your Pocket

One way of saying someone’s a tightwad or cheapskate is to say he “has fishhooks in his pocket,” meaning he’s so reluctant to reach into his pocket for his wallet, it’s as if he’d suffer bodily injury if he did...

Kippie Bags

Kippie bags, named after the former TSA head Kip Hawley, are those quart-sized bags we put toiletries in when going through airport security. This is part of a complete episode.

Plastic Bags

What do you call plastic shopping bags that litter the landscape? Some know them as witches’ britches or witches’ knickers. Others prefer urban tumbleweeds. In the film American Beauty, Ricky Fitts famously called them one the most...

Martha’s Tricks for Lay vs. Lie

It’s one of the biggest grammatical bugaboos of all, the one that bedevils even the most earnest English students: Is it lie or lay? Martha shares a trick for remembering the difference. See below for her clip-and-save chart of these verbs...