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Why Do Girls Wear Pink?

We all know that the color pink is for boys and the color blue is for girls — at least, that’s how it was 100 years ago. Grant and Martha share the surprising history behind the colors we associate with gender. Plus, we go rollin’ in our...

Rest On Your Laurels

If you’ve accomplished something, go ahead and rest on your laurels. Martha traces this idiom back to Ancient Greece, where victors were crowned with a wreath of bay leaves from the bay laurel tree. In the 16th Century, to retire on...

Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

If you say to someone the Spanish equivalent of “you’re giving me green gray hairs” (me sacas canas verdes), it means that person is making you angry. In Japan, the phrase that literally translates as “one red dot”...

See the Elephant

If you’ve “seen the elephant,” it means you’ve been in combat. But why an elephant? Martha and Grant also discuss some odd idioms in Spanish, including one that translates as “your bowtie is whistling.” And what...

Black Beast Idiom

Some foreign idioms involving color have been adopted whole into English. A case in point: French bête noire. Literally, it means “black beast,” and it’s used figuratively now in English to mean anything particularly disliked or...

Argentine Worm Idiom

Another Argentine idiom goes arrugaste como frenada de gusano. It means “You were scared,” but literally, it’s “You wrinkled like a stopping worm.” This is part of a complete episode.