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Folk Expressions for Ailments

A physician in Onancock, Virginia, shares some expressions he’s picked up from his patients, such as Old Arthur, as in Old Arthur’s in town — a reference to suffering from arthritis. Patients have also described feeling discouraged or...

Everything’s Butter

If someone ever asks you how you are, you’re feeling on top of the world, you can say Alles in Butter (or im butter in some German dialects). It’s German for “Everything’s great” — literally, “All is in butter.”...

The Meaning of Ending Messages with Ellipses

Toshi, a 27-year-old in Dallas, Texas, wonders about differences in the way she and her parents use punctuation in text messages. When older adults send her texts using ellipses, Toshi gets a queasy feeling that it’s because they’re...

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