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Pelion Upon Ossa

In The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Bookshop|Amazon), Simon Winchester refers to piling Pelion upon Ossa, meaning “making a difficult situation even more difficult...

Bro-Brah Skier Slang

Tenley in Jackson, Wyoming, calls to share the bro-brah slang of fellow skiers there. If a skier or snowboarder is taking on a challenging run, others will cheer them on with Bro, send it! or Sick! You sent that!, and they use the adjective sendy...

Go Sit on a Tack!

Tricia in Chesapeake, Virginia, says if her father was annoyed with her mother, he used to jokingly tell her: Go sit on a tack! It’s another way of saying “Leave me alone!” Similar phrases include go fly a kite, go climb a tree, go...

A Leg Up

Ali in Toronto, Canada, wonders about the expression to give or have a leg up, meaning “to be a step ahead of everyone.” The phrase comes from the idea of providing assistance to someone getting up into a saddle. A similar expression is...

Words With Silent B

The word climb has been sneaking by with that silent b for a while. But speakers of Old English pronounced the b in its predecessor, climban. This is part of a complete episode.