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Big Hands, Bad Joke

If you have seven oranges in one hand and six in the other, what have you got? “Really big hands”–and a really bad joke. This is part of a complete episode.

Names for Big Mosquitos

In an earlier episode, we talked about those huge insects known as gallon-nippers.We heard from Dell Suggs in Tallahassee, Florida, who says he knows them simply as gallinippers. This term for a really large mosquito goes back to the early 1700s...

Little Pitchers Have Big Ears

When adults are talking sex, money, or other adult topics in the presence of children, one might say little pitchers have big ears, meaning that they don’t want the little ones to hear. The expression has to do with beverage pitchers with...

The Big Apple

Why is New York City called the Big Apple? In the 1920s, a writer named John Fitz Gerald used it in a column about the horseracing scene, because racetrack workers in New Orleans would say that if a horse was successful down South, they’d send...

On the Big Drum Followup

It’s been a puzzle to track the origin of the saying good night, sleep tight, see you on the big drum. Perhaps it’s an innocent mixup that takes from the Robert Burns poem Tam o’ Shanter, which reads, “good night, sleep...