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Episode 1532

Off the Turnip Truck

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...

Tearing the Rag off the Bush

Something excellent can be said to “tear the rag off the bush,” or “take the rag,” and it likely comes from old Western shooting competitions, where the winner would shoot a rag off a bush. The Oxford English Dictionary shows...

Tear the Rag Off the Bush

The Southern idiom tear the rag off the bush has been used when scandalous relationships are revealed, but it’s also applicable to anything surprising. It’s similar to “Don’t that beat all?” and “Doesn’t...

Centricity Word Game

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska has a game called “Centricity”, emphasis on the “city.” For example, “Mickey ate all the fruit, leaving Minneapolis.” And as George H.W. Bush said to George W. Bush, “You can be...

reset button

reset button  n.— «Colin Powell put it well when he said that the 9-11 attacks “set the reset button” on U.S. foreign and military policies. This restructuring of the global disorder predated 9-11.» —“Bush’s War: Where is...