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Bus Bunching

You’re waiting for a bus. You wait, and then you wait some more. Finally, two or three buses show up at once, all headed for the same destination. Public transportation professionals have a term for this — several, in fact: bus bunching...

The Origins of the Word “Passenger”

The history of the word passenger, meaning “someone on some sort of conveyance,” is a bit surprising. In the 1300s, a passager was the pilot of a ferry, not one of the other people on board. Later passager acquired what linguists call an...

A Bit of Rhyming Slang

Steven in Cavendish, Vermont, remembers this saying from his Cockney grandfather: There I was on the dog and bone, with me mate Charlie, when my trouble and strife took a tumble on the apples and pears, and I couldn’t Adam and Eve it...

Dogberg!

If a big dog knocks you over, the joking term for that mishap is dogberg, a bit of slang inspired by the name of professional wrestler Bill Goldberg, who liked to finish off his opponents with his signature move called the spear, which involved...

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