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Egg-Tapping

Marian from Schroon Lake, New York, says her family plays an egg-tapping game after every Easter egg hunt. Each player takes an egg and taps it against someone else’s, hoping that their own egg won’t crack. The egg that survives a round...

Dobber, Dauber

The advice keep your dauber up or keep your dobber up is intended to encourage someone who’s feeling dejected or discouraged. It may come from the game of marbles, where a dobber is the largest marble in a game. This is part of a complete...

Versing, Meaning X Versus Y

Kathy from Evansville, Indiana, is bothered when she hears younger people use to verse as a verb, as in “Who are they versing?” and “We versed that team last week.” This term arose out of misunderstanding versus, a...

Knuckle Down, Bony Tight

A listener in Carmel, New York, remembers his father’s phrase knuckle down, screw bony tight, a challenge called out to someone particularly adept at playing marbles. The game of marbles, once wildly popular in the United States, is a rich...

Run a Sandy

A historian in Indianapolis, Indiana, says a World War II-era letter from her father to her mother refers to running a sandy. It’s a phrase that derives from poker and the act of sandbagging, a kind of bluffing of an opponent. This is part of...