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Have a Wolf by the Ears

Stephanie in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was puzzled when a colleague used the expression like grabbing a wolf by the ears to describe an impossible task. Like the idiom to have a tiger by the tail, it suggests the paralyzing difficulty of having hold of...

Gone to Seed

This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell “clean” sandwiches. But that doesn’t mean they’re condiment-free or the...

Scobolotch

Scobolotch is a term used in Wisconsin for the mayfly that may derived from a Native American language. Variants include scobblotcher and skoplotch. This short-lived insect goes by many other names, including Green Bay fly and Canadian soldier. This...

A Mother’s Playful Interjections

A Green Bay, Wisconsin, caller is curious about her mother’s playful interjections. If someone said, “Well,” her mother would add, “Well, well. Three holes in the ground.” If someone started a sentence with...

snakebite

snakebite  v.— «Even Vince Lombardi—who many say puts the mental snakebite on opponents by being the Green Bay coach—isn’t convinced.» —“Raiders respect Green Bay legend” by Charles E. Taylor in Boca Raton, Fla...

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