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Episode 1538

Little Shavers

The word hipster might seem recent, but it actually originated in the 1930s when it referred to jazz aficionados who were in the know about the best nightclubs and cool music. Speaking of music, a professional musician reports that it’s...

Episode 1535

Beside Myself

The new Downton Abbey movie is a luscious treat for fans of the public-television period piece, but how accurate is the script when it comes to the vocabulary of the early 20th century? It may be jarring to hear the word swag, but it was already at...

worm grunting

worm grunting  n.— «Earthworms are sensitive to low-frequency vibrations. These drive some types of earthworms to the surface, and in the southeastern US is used in a practice known as “worm grunting,” by scraping a piece of metal on...

BOPSA

BOPSA  n.— «In media terms, however, this isn’t the most riveting television. In fact, they have a name for it. It’s called “BOPSA” (Bunch Of People Sitting Around). In this case, sitting around and voting for our next...

sidewalk alumni

sidewalk alumni  n.pl.— «Fordham and St. Mary’s, the “Irish” of the east and west coasts, are to meet in their annual football game at the Polo Grounds this afternoon and the sidewalk alumni will be there to the last man...

mocialite

mocialite  n.—Gloss: a homosexual socialite. Note: From homosexual + s(o)cialite. «Also there, among a gaggle of pretty girls, was adorable “mocialite and former Queer Eye design guru Thom Felicia, who was celebrating a new big life...