Home » cloth

Tagcloth

A Pain Under the Pinny

Lois in Newfoundland, Canada, asks about the phrase pain in the pinny, meaning “stomach discomfort.” Pain in the pinny, or more commonly pain under the pinny, refers to a pain under one’s pinafore, or apron, the word pinafore...

Dessert Stomach

Funny cat videos and cute online photos inspire equally adorable slang terms we use to talk about them. • Also, when a salamander is not a salamander, the story of an Italian term for a dish towel used halfway across the world, Bozo buttons...

Mappine Means Dish Towel

A listener notes that among the many Italian-Americans in Rome, New York, the term mappine is commonly used for dish towel. In some some dialects of Italy, particularly the Piedmont and Neapolitan regions, the word mappina means cloth or towel or...

Hot Dog, Cold Turkey

Why do we call a frankfurter a hot dog? It seems an unsettling 19th-century rumor is to blame. Also, if someone quits something abruptly, why do we say they quit cold turkey? This term’s roots may lie in the history of boxing. Plus, a...

Punch List

Books for sale, books for free, and wisdom passed down through the ages. Libraries aren’t just repositories for books — they’re often a great place to find gently used volumes for sale. Or you can always visit a “little free...