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kangarooing

kangarooing  n.— «But Colton never came home to the picture-perfect nursery his parents had set up for him. Instead, Donny and Amy Chilla and their parents spent hours cradling Colton, in a practice known as “kangarooing,” as...

trad

trad  adj.— «He assured me that what he collects—and plays—is traditional, or “trad,” jazz. I told him I call it Dixieland. He called my terminology “unfortunate,” adding, “Eddie Condon hated the term Dixieland.” That should settle it...

murphy style

murphy style  n.— «I ask this question in the Christmas section because you always see gift packs with coffee beans and it’s not instant coffee. And I am always worried that the gift receipient doesn’t have a coffee maker. Yes, you can...

Wait a Cotton-Picking Minute

Happy holidays to everyone! Your gift is another episode of A Way with Words. It's one-size-fits-all. This week we chewed over whether "cotton-picking" is racist, unintentionally funny headlines, a holiday-song quiz...

Impromptu Gifts

In certain parts of the South, a small, impromptu gift is variously known by the sibilant synonyms sirsee, surcy, searcy, or circe. A South Carolina woman who’s heard the word all her life is baffled as to where it came from. This is part of a...

botty-bot

botty-bot  n.—Gloss: the rear end or derrière. «If I’m going to wear pants, I’m going to wear something that actually contains my entire botty-bot—instead of just hanging around the middle area, scantily, supposedly sexily, like a gift...