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Tap ’Er Light

Cindy in Spokane, Washington, says her father would bid his loved ones good-bye by saying tap ’er light. The phrase comes from miners’ slang of the early 1900s and is a gentle admonition to take care to avoid cave-ins or prematurely detonating...

Daisy-Cutting

The term daisy-cutting, which refers to the low-action trot of Arabian and Thoroughbred horses, is reminiscent of the low grounder in baseball known as a daisy cutter and even the daisy cutter explosive, which shoots low-flying shrapnel. This is...

Petered Out

Does the expression petered out have to do with the Apostle Peter denying he knew Jesus? No, “petered out” may derive from the French peter, meaning to “pass gas.” Another theory is that the expression originated in mining...

munitionette

munitionette  n.— «Visitors will also be invited to try their hand at being a “munitionette,” a term used to describe the women who put together explosive shells on the assembly line.» —“Explosive exhibition makes a...

dolphin kick

dolphin kick  n.— «In layman’s terms, the dolphin kicks is an emulation of the way a dolphin cuts through the water with its flipper. Swimmers that use the dolphin kick replace a standard underwater “freestyle” kick with an explosive...

global weirding

global weirding  n.— «The nation is reeling from several factors: Hurricane Katrina, “Global Weirding” (strange and violent weather and other events), our myopic and hopeless dependence on foreign energy, record worldwide...