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Black Elephants

Environmentalists have combined black swan with white elephant to form the term black elephant, meaning “something likely to happen that will have a detrimental impact.” This is part of a complete episode.

See the Elephant

If you’ve “seen the elephant,” it means you’ve been in combat. But why an elephant? Martha and Grant also discuss some odd idioms in Spanish, including one that translates as “your bowtie is whistling.” And what...

One Elephant, Two Elephant

In the U.K., they don’t count seconds as “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi,” because, well, they have no Mississippi. Instead, they say “one-elephant, two-elephant.” Lynne Murphy, author of the blog Separated by a...

Liberian Proverb

“Only the grass dies when elephants fight.” This Liberian proverb is a reminder that it’s the powerless who suffer when governments or factions fight. This is part of a complete episode.

Where The Wild Thongs Are

Howdy! In our latest episode, we discuss why “he’s seen the elephant” means “he’s been in combat.” Also, a look at idioms, like the Spanish one that translates as “your bowtie is whistling.” And what...

Origin of Military Expression

A West Point graduate says he and fellow members of the military use the expression He has seen the elephant to mean “He’s seen combat.” Grant explains that this expression originated outside the military. This is part of a...

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