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Whoop it Up

Amanda in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders about her mother’s exhortation whoop it up!, meaning “Get going!” It’s part of a long tradition of making noise to urge someone to hurry. This is part of a complete episode.

Yay vs. Yea

Jill in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders how to spell the one-syllable cheer that starts with Y. Is it yay or yea? Since the 1930s, yay has been used as a little celebratory word. The word yea is much older and used in formal texts to mean...

Insidious Ruse Wordplay

Melinda in Indianapolis, Indiana, shares a bit of wordplay in which someone is invited to repeat such phrases as “I’m a brass lock” and “I’m a brass key,” all leading up to a punchline in which the repeater is...

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