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Orts and Other Bits of Food

An ort is a small bite of food left on one’s dinner plate. Also known as the manners bit or manners piece, because some people consider it polite for guests to leave that last bite, which suggests that the host provided enough for everyone to...

Get the Pips

Holly from Camden, South Carolina, says her grandmother used to sprinkle lots of pepper on their food, advising the family that heavily seasoning food that way meant that they wouldn’t get the pips. The term the pips or the pip was originally...

Origin of the Word “Paraphernalia”

Rachel from Ashland, Virginia, wonders about the origin of paraphernalia, or “items belonging to a particular person or used for a particular activity.” In ancient Greece, the pherna was a bride’s dowry, and the parapherna was her...

Good Stuff, Maynard!

The catchphrase Good stuff, Maynard! Comes from a series of TV commercials for Malt-O-Meal hot cereal that aired during the early 1980s and featured a little boy and his imaginary friend Maynard. Some folks still use this phrase today when enthusing...