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Hot as Flugens

Squire in Murray, Kentucky, wonders about the expression hot as flugens, meaning “really hot.” The term flugens serves as an emphasizer or making money like flugens or ran like flugens or even cold as blue flugens. In the 1830s, many...

To Hell in a Handbasket

A Huntsville, Alabama, man finds that his younger co-workers have never heard the phrase going to hell in a handbasket. Although the expression is at least as old as the U.S. Civil War, its etymology remains unclear. In the early 1960s, the humorist...

Origin of Hello

The hell in hello has nothing to do with the Devil’s abode. The word is related to similar shouts of greeting, such as hallo or halloa. Several languages have similar exclamations, such as Swedish hej, which sounds like English hey. This is...

Slushpile Hell Blog Letters

A query letter from SlushPile Hell, the blog of a curmudgeonly literary agent, reads, “Have you ever wished you had represented the author of the Holy Bible and placed it with a publisher?” Erm, sure. This is part of a complete episode.