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Just like New York

An Indianapolis listener is curious about a saying his dad used to describe anything that’s excellent or the best of its kind: Just like New York. This is part of a complete episode.

Veil of Tears

An Indianapolis listener says his father used to often spoke of leaving this veil of tears. His son wonders about the origin of that phrase. Grant and Martha explain the expression is actually vale of tears, a synonym for valley. In some...

Thrice Happy Pair

An Indianapolis listener has a copy of a wedding poem that refers to the thrice-happy pair. Is a thrice-happy pair three times as happy as anyone else? Martha explains that the idea goes all the way back to Roman poetry. Here’s an example from...


An Indianapolis listener says her family often refers to strong liquor as hooch, and wonders where that term comes from. The hosts trace the term’s path from an Indian village in Alaska. This is part of a complete episode.

The Life of Riley

An Indianapolis listener who lives on same street where James Whitcomb Riley made his home wonders if the poet’s name has anything to do with the expression associated with living in high style, “the life of Riley.” Click on the...

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