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Ticket Spitters

Ross in Lyme, New Hampshire wonders what those machines that dispense tickets at the entrance to a parking garage are called. In the business, they’re referred to as ticket spitters, entry stations, or parking ticket dispensers. This is part...

Picklebacks and Mountweazels

Martha and Grant talk about phrases you love to hate, like “Do you mind if I put you on hold?” They also talk about mountweazels, jakey bums, picklebacks, and step-ins. And which is the proper term: mothers-in-law or mother-in-laws?

Premature Evacuation

You’ve kept that old gadget in your garage for years now, but you never use it, so you finally throw it out. The very next day, you discover you need it. Shouldn’t there be a word for needing something you just threw away? Martha reports...


nimbleton  n.— «So let’s raise a glass to big funds with a toast of sincere best wishes for their success . . . of course, I’ll be explicit about my ulterior motive: keeping the small fund space the preserve of the nimbletons. If big...