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Not Today, Josephine

A North Carolina listener says that when he was a boy and asked for something at a store that his father didn’t want to buy, his dad would reply Not today, Josephine. The origins of this phrase are unclear, although there is a story that it...

Cut Me a Huss

Manuel in Fort Worth, Texas, wonders about a phrase he’s heard from his dad and brothers: Cut me a husk meaning “Give me a break.” The term evolved from slang used by U.S. Marines serving in Vietnam, and HUS, the configuration for...

Origin of the “Big Mahoff”

Doug in Madison, Wisconsin, remembers that when he was growing up in Philadelphia, his dad used the phrase the big mahoff to refer to someone important. This term that means “the big boss” or “the big cheese,” is largely...

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

Vivian in San Antonio says when her family returned from a vacation, her dad would announce Home again, home again! Jiggity jig! This saying is actually more than two centuries old, and comes from an old nursery rhyme about farmers going to market...

It Must Have Been A Lie

Rachel in Lexington, Kentucky, says her dad had a ready response whenever someone said they forgot what they were going to say: It must have been a lie. This rejoinder apparently goes back to a joke that’s been around since at least the 1920s...

Just Fell Off the Turnip Truck

Sam from St. Paul, Minnesota, says his dad often used the expressions Do you think I just fell off the turnip truck? and I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, meaning “I’m not naive” or “Do you think I was born...

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