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Light a Shuck

Light a shuck means “to skedaddle” or “leave quickly,” and is often found in cowboy literature. It’s a reference to moving quickly while using a burning corn shuck to light one’s way, and may also be influenced by...

Thief with a Burning Hat

In Russian, someone with an uneasy conscience is described by an idiom that translates as “The thief has a burning hat”–perhaps because he’s suffering discomfort that no one else perceives. This is part of a complete episode.

Open Sesame!

Queridos amigos, we have two brand-new episodes to share! On the air this past weekend we debated, among many other things, whether there was a difference in meaning between gray and grey. Martha insists that there is and she’s not the only...

nightlight

nightlight  n.— «The FCC wasted no time releasing its proposed guidelines for a new analog-DTV nightlight bill, but suggested that, at least initially, stations in only about two-thirds of U.S. markets will be able to keep their analog...

soot booger

soot booger  n.— «In informal industry parlance, a soot booger is a crusty buildup of stuff that is in coal, but didn’t burn up in the boiler and is too heavy to float out of the smokestack—the soot. Big globs of it—the boogers—accumulate...

hydromowing

hydromowing  n.— «The local agencies use three approaches to curbing fire threat—prescribed burning, hand thinning and a relatively new practice known as hydromowing, where a large spinning drum with carbide teeth shreds small trees and...