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Hang for a Sheep

Rick calls from Rouses Point, New York, to ask about the etymology of the phrase to hang for a sheep as for a lamb, meaning to go for broke or to go all out. The answer involves the old tradition of capital punishment for poaching animals. Given the...

Kettle of Vultures

A hike in San Diego’s Mission Trails Regional Park has Martha pondering terms for turkey vultures. A flock of vultures in flight is called a kettle, a committee, or a volt, while a group of vultures feeding on carrion is called a wake. This is...

A Murmuration

A flock of starlings is called a murmuration, and a beautiful video of a murmuration of starlings flying about has been described by Martha as “nature’s ornithological lava lamp.” This is part of a complete episode.

trendonista

trendonista  n.— «“The trendonistas still flock to Barneys, but it’s just to eat lunch and buy a lipstick,” said Leslie Wright, a fashion-forward executive at Bonhams & Butterfields, the art auctioneer. “That way,” she continued...

flyover

flyover  n.— «A $60 million road project, which in late 2006 replaced the notorious Sagamore rotary with a straight stretch of highway heading over the Sagamore Bridge and onto the Cape.…The figures indicate that the new...