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Episode 1502

Mimeographs and Dittos

In this episode: How colors got their names, and a strange way to write. The terms blue and orange arrived in English via French, so why didn’t we also adapt the French for black and white? • Not every example of writing goes in one direction...

Carrot and Stick Origin

Steve in Dennis, Massachusetts, remembers a cartoon that showed a boy trying to persuade a donkey to pull a cart by holding out a carrot suspended from a stick. Is that the origin of the expression carrot and stick? The original metaphor involved...

Shopping Buggy

Do you call your cart at the grocery store a shopping cart, a shopping carriage, a grocery cart, or a buggy? The term buggy seems to be particularly widespread in the South. This is part of a complete episode.

Bascarts

What do you call the wheeled contraption that you push around the grocery store? Shopping cart? Shopping carriage? Shopping wagon? Buggy? A former Kentuckian wonders if anyone besides her calls them bascarts. Check out this dialect map featuring...

COW

COW  n.— «“I have my entire nurse’s desk with me whenever I have my computer. Everything I need to know is in the computer with me,” explains Laura Woolliscroft. R.N., as she types on a laptop that sits on a wheeled cart. Nurses...