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Why “The” Bronx?

Why does the name of the Manhattan borough called The Bronx include the word The while the other boroughs of New York City lack a definite article? The 17th-century Dutch settler Jonas Bronck bequeathed his name to a local body of water, which came...

No Bones in Ice Cream

Amelia in Traverse City, Michigan, says her grandfather used to pull her close and whisper There are no bones in ice cream. He has a point there, but where did the phrase come from? That phrase seems to have arisen as part of a goofy joke making the...

Laurels as an Honor

To garner the laurels, meaning “to collect praise” refers to the ancient practice of awarding crowns of bay laurel leaves to victors in competitions. This tradition of honoring distinction with such a wreath is reflected in the terms...

Die Bull-Headed

Darcy calls from North Pole, Alaska, to share a saying her grandparents used when she asked for something she couldn’t have. It sounded like either You may want horns, but you’ll die mole-headed or You may want horns, but you’ll...