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Binders Meaning Brakes Origins

Jesse in Newport News, Virginia, is an auto-racing enthusiast who often hears announcers talking about a driver getting on the binders, meaning “to brake” when going into a curve. As early as the 1930s, the term binders has referred to...

Dashboards, From Wagons to Digital Screens

Gerald from Gaspee Point, Rhode Island, wants to know the story behind the term dashboard. Originally a dashboard was wood or leather placed at the front in horse-drawn vehicles to keep the driver and passengers from being dashed with mud, water, or...

What is a Strumpet?

Quincy works as a delivery driver in San Diego, Calfornia. His wife’s been teasing him that while she’s stuck at home, his job lets him go out having fun, gallivanting, and “running into the strumpets.” What, he wonders, is a...

The Music Truck

In response to our conversation about the expression ding-ding man, a term used mainly in Nebraska to mean “the driver of an ice cream truck,” Greg in Auburn, California, shared that he and his wife used to call that vehicle the music...

Quay and Key Spelling and Pronunciation

David, a rideshare driver in Virginia Beach, Virginia, wonders about all the residential developments he sees with names containing the word quay. Usually pronounced KEE, quay is another term for “wharf.” The use of quay in these names...

Ding-Ding Man Ice Cream Truck

Rachel, who moved from Nebraska to attend school in College Park, Maryland, says her friends were surprised when she referred to the driver of an ice cream truck as the ding ding man. Indeed, this term seems to now be limited largely to Omaha...

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