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Left in the Lurch

A restaurant manager in Kokomo, Indiana, had an employee who failed to show up for work. This left him wondering about the phrase left in the lurch. It probably derives from an old game similar to backgammon called lourche, the object of which is to...

Episode 1572

By a Long Shot

Imagine telling someone how to get to your home, but without using the name of your street, or any other street within ten miles. Could you do it? We take street names for granted, but these words are useful for far more, like applying for a job or...

Video Game Jargon “Proc”

Brian from Washington, D.C., wonders about the term proc. It’s used by video-game enthusiasts to refer to an event triggered by particular circumstances or actions. Proc can also be used as a verb, and apparently derives from spec_proc, a...

Jackpot Origin

The word jackpot can denote the pile of money you win at a game of poker, but another definition is that of trouble, tangled mess, or a literal logjam. This is part of a complete episode.