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Up and Quit

Why do people up and quit? Can’t they just … quit? In the 1300s, up and followed by an action literally meant you got up and did something. Today, it’s taken the figurative meaning of doing something with vigor and enthusiasm, and...

Can You Brandish a Body Part?

We usually brandish a weapon, or some object we can wave about. But the definition of brandish can be stretched to include more figurative types of weapons or objects (e.g. seductive body parts). This is part of a complete episode.

callback

callback  n.— «He ends nearly every chapter with a surprising figurative twist on something he said earlier, like what comedians refer to as a “callback.”» —“Inventing English: A Portable History Of The Language By Seth...

tombstoning

tombstoning n. 1. the use of the names and data of dead persons to commit fraud. 2. In the U.K., the pastime of leaping from heights into bodies of water. Editorial Note: There are many figurative uses of tombstone, most generally meaning an object...

stiffs

stiffs n.pl. in soccer, a reserve or second-string team or its players; a league, figurative or real, of such teams. Editorial Note: Usually constructed with the definite article: the stiffs, similar to baseball’s the minors. Etymological Note: This...

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