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Pebble Picker

Right off the bat, it’s easy to think of several everyday expressions that derive from America’s pastime–including “right off the bat.” The Dickson Baseball Dictionary catalogues not only those contributions but also...

Hector’s Pup

Sharing a secret language. Did you ever speak in gibberish with a childhood pal, adding extra syllables to words so the adults couldn’t understand what you were saying? Such wordplay isn’t just for kids–and it’s not just...

Good as Corn

Why tell someone they’re sexy when you can let them know they’re good as corn? That’s what the Portuguese say, along with “taking his little horse away from the rain,” an idiom that means giving up. This is part of a...

Giving a Basket

In German, ein Korb geben–literally, to “give a basket”–means to “turn down a potential date.” This idiom derives from a medieval legend about castle-dwelling woman. Instead of letting her hair down for a suitor...

Green-Eyed Monster

We often hear that English is going to hell in a handbasket. Actually, though, linguistic handwringing about sinking standards and sloppy speech has been going on for centuries – at least as far back as the 1300’s! And: language also...

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