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Pantywaist

If someone’s called a pantywaist, they’re being disparaged as weak or timid. The term refers to a baby garment popular in the early 20th century that snapped at the waist. Some people misunderstand the term as pantywaste, but...

Etymology of Mascot

Evergreen State College in Washington is certainly in the running for best school mascot, with the Geoduck. But you can’t forget the UC Santa Cruz Fighting Banana Slugs, or the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes. The term mascot itself...

Nanty Narking

If you’re looking for a little nanty narking, try going back to the 19th century and having a great time, because that’s a jaunty term the British used for it back then. This is part of a complete episode.

Young People’s Slang

Complaining about young people’s slang is nothing new. Browsing Google Books, Grant stumbled upon an amusing example from the 19th century called “The Age of Slang.” Oh, my stars and garters! This is part of a complete episode.

Balderdash

The origin of the exclamation “Balderdash!”, meaning “nonsense,” isn’t entirely known. It is clear, however, that back in the 17th century balderdash could refer to a frothy mix of liquids, such as beer and buttermilk...

Old as My Tongue

When you think about it, the saying “I’m as old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth” makes a good deal of sense. It goes all the way back to the 18th century and Jonathan Swift’s Polite Conversation. This...

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