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Since Hector was a Pup

Hector’s pup, or since Hector was a pup, is another way to say, “Oh, heck.” The expressions go back to the early 1900’s, when people were perhaps more familiar with the character of Hector from The Iliad. This is part of a...

A Letter to Charles Schulz

Some of the best things in the book Letters of Note are letters from kids to adults. One young fan’s plea to Charles Schultz that he remove a character from Peanuts was actually met with approval. This is part of a complete episode.

Seasonal Idiom “Winter’s Bone”

The title Winter’s Bone, an acclaimed film based on Daniel Woodrell’s country noir novel, is an idiom the author created by personifying the season, which throws the main character a bone. This is part of a complete episode.

Around Robin’s Barn

If you say they went “all the way around Robin’s barn,” it means they took a long, circuitous route. A San Antonio, Texas, listener wants to know: Who is Robin and why did he build his barn in such an inconvenient place? It’s...

Camp Songs

What was your favorite camp song? If it sounds like nonsensical scat singing, it may date back to a radio character named Buddy Bear who sang in scat on the Buddy Bear show in the 1940s. This is part of a complete episode.

Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat

The biblical king Jehoshaphat is the inspiration for the exclamation “jumpin’ Jehosaphat!” This alliterative idiom probably arose in the 19th century but was popularized by the cartoon character Yosemite Sam in the 20th century...

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