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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire Origin

The saying liar, liar pants on fire is part of a longer children’s rhyme that’s been around since 1841 or so. There are several different versions of what comes after the line liar, liar, pants on fire, such as “Hanging by a...

Pour the Cobs on

An Indianapolis, Indiana, man says that when his grandmother wanted to urge someone on, she’d say “It’s time to pour the cobs on” or “It’s time for the cobs.” What’s the origin? This is part of a...

Giggle Weeds

A woman in Indianapolis, Indiana, says her father regularly used the phrase out in the giggle weeds, meaning out in the middle of nowhere or off the beaten path. Giggle weed is slang for both marijuana and jimson weed, a naturally growing highly...

Run a Sandy

A historian in Indianapolis, Indiana, says a World War II-era letter from her father to her mother refers to running a sandy. It’s a phrase that derives from poker and the act of sandbagging, a kind of bluffing of an opponent. This is part of...

Whistling in the Dark

An Indianapolis, Indiana, teacher and his class wonder about the origin of whistling in the dark, which means “to put on a brave face in a scary situation.” As it happens, the teacher’s band, The Knollwood Boys, recorded a song by...

Turkey Trot Blues

An Indianapolis, Indiana, listener says that his mother-in-law was asked by a child where she was going, would jokingly sing that she was “going to the Turkey trot trot trot, across the lot, lot, lot, feeling fine, fine, fine until...

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