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Who Calls Sliding Doors “Doorwalls”?

Doorwall was once used in many parts of the United States for “sliding glass door,” although the term now seems to have settled largely in parts of Michigan. In the American Southwest, these doors are sometimes called arcadia doors. This...

Words for Leavings and Dregs

Amy from Ishpeming, Michigan, says her family’s idiolect includes the word grinslies, which they use to denote the sediment in the bottom of your coffee cup. The word orts is also a term for leftovers, and a dialectal term for the last little...

Paragliding Lingo

In what sport would you hear the slang terms glass off, speck out, and get flushed? They’re all expressions used in paragliding. Glass-off refers to a smooth, effortless takeoff; to speck out is to go so high that you’re nearly invisible...

Cat Trap

When a cat finds that perfect square on the floor that’s being illuminated by the sun coming through a glass window, you might call that spot a cat trap. This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Canning

Why do we call it canning if we’re putting stuff in glass jars? The answer has to do with when the technique was discovered. The process of canning came about in the late 1700s, when thin glass jars were used. Factories soon switched to metal...

Suicide Beverage

A while ago we talked about the drink called a suicide, also known as a Matt Dillon. That’s when the bartender pours whatever’s dripped on the bar mat into a shot glass and some lucky fellow downs it. We’ve heard lots of variations...