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Nothing to Say

Like the boy when the calf ran over him, “I had nothing to say,” is an old saying describing someone who’s speechless, and goes back to the mid-19th century. This is part of a complete episode.

Can’t See a White Cat

More great color idioms, this time from Serbo-Croatian: In that language, a phrase that translates as “I can’t see a white cat” means “I’m very tired,” and to “stare like a calf at a colorful door”...

Maverick and Gobbledygook (minicast)

We hear the word maverick a lot lately, but where did this term for a stubborn nonconformist come from? Martha tells the story of the Texas politician who inspired the word, and whose grandson apparently coined another familiar English word...


shoot  n.— «That’s the point where you give up and decide to wear thick tights and Ugg boots for the remainder of the winter. That, or I might succumb to the allure of the new shoe-boots—or shoots, as they call them—and just let my calves...

monkey muscle

monkey muscle  n.— «The symptoms you describe are most likely the result of a tear in the one of the two heads of the main calf muscle—the gastrocnemius. This is also known as a “torn monkey muscle” injury, for reasons I don’t...

bucket baby

bucket baby n. 1. a foal or calf nursed by hand; 2. an infant perceived to spend an excessive amount of time in a portable car seat. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)