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Slake Your Thirst

To slake your thirst is to quench your thirst. But some people have been switching it to slate your thirst or other variants. It’s a classic case of an eggcorn, or one of those words that people mishear, and then start pronouncing incorrectly;...

Mollycobwobbles

you suffer from restless nights of tossing and turning, you may have a case of the mollycobwobbles. A listener shares this hand-me-down term from her grandmother. Grant explains she may well have combined two English terms dating about 150 years...

Defugalty

Have you ever been faced with a defugalty? This ironic misspelling and mispronunciation of difficulty popped up in a Dashiell Hammett novel, They Glass Key, in 1931. It’s often said with a tongue in the cheek, but, as in the case of the...

Monday is Longer than Tuesday

A listener remembers her mother used to say, “Your Monday is longer than your Tuesday.” This phrase offered a subtle way to notify someone that her slip was showing. Other expressions convey that warning as well, including “Monday...

Egg On

Why do we speak of trying to egg on a person, meaning to urge them to do something? Martha explains that the egg in this case has nothing to do with chickens. This kind of “egg” is derives from an old root that means to “urge on...

Acting in Haste

The saying “act in haste, repent at leisure” is typically a warning that means “if you make a hasty decision, you’ll have plenty of time to mull over your mistake later.” It’s likely a variation of an older...