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Balloon Juice

A century or so ago, balloon juice was college slang for “empty talk.” This is part of a complete episode.

Lunch Hook

A lunch hook, in college slang from a century ago, meant “a hand”–as in, “I’m going to hook my finger through this doughnut hole.” This is part of a complete episode.

When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But wait, what did the Romans do, anyway, and where does that phrase come from? It pops up at least as early as the late 4th century in St. Augustine’s writings, when he moved from Rome to Milan and inquired...

Pie in the Sky Origin

We all know the moon’s made of green cheese, but what’s the deal with the pie in the sky? The idiom pie in the sky, referring to something that’s pleasant to imagine but unattainable, comes from an early 20th century song called...

Agreeance vs. Agreement

What’s the difference between agreeance and agreement? While agreeance is a word, it hasn’t often been used since the 19th century, whereas agreement is both correct and common. Best to go with agreement. This is part of a complete...

Rubber Match

What’s the antidote to living in a sound-bite world? How about unwinding with luxuriously expressive prose? Also, the cloak-and-dagger world of editing dictionary entries. Plus, what you might say instead of cursing, and oddball Scrabble words...

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