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Pelion Upon Ossa

In The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Bookshop|Amazon), Simon Winchester refers to piling Pelion upon Ossa, meaning “making a difficult situation even more difficult...

Not the Boss of Me

The phrase “You’re not the boss of me” may have been popularized by the They Might Be Giants song that serves as the theme for TV’s “Malcolm in the Middle.” But this turn of phrase goes back to at least 1883. This...

sidewalk alumni

sidewalk alumni  n.pl.— «He was talking in somewhat awed tones of the game he had seen the day before at the Polo Grounds—the one between the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears.…As one of the sidewalk alumni who was sitting just...

rodbuster

rodbuster
 n.— «Rodbuster climbs reinforcing bars at YST pit.» —“Steel Giants Growing” Hammond Times (Indiana) Sept. 25, 1966. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

goat-rope

goat-rope  n.— «Any team good enough to get this far comes in fully aware that for several morning hours every day you will have to endure a media goat rope.» —“Giants To Beat Broncos: Simms Is Pressure-Proof” by Randy...