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Origin of the “Big Mahoff”

Doug in Madison, Wisconsin, remembers that when he was growing up in Philadelphia, his dad used the phrase the big mahoff to refer to someone important. This term that means “the big boss” or “the big cheese,” is largely...

Origin of Nosy

Are we a nosy species? A listener married to a woman from Bangladesh explains how a Bengali term that translates as “nose-going” reflects the naturally inquisitive style of Bangladeshi culture. In many languages, the nose figures...

reverse inquiry

reverse inquiry  n.— «Market participants echoed those comments. “The book was incredibly large and the average fill was only 20% to 25%,” meaning that institutional investors received one-fifth to one-quarter of the orders...

block busting

block busting  n.— «A committee of civic politicians wants to know what the city and cops are doing to crack down on “unscrupulous property owners.” It comes following an inquiry made by Coun. Don Iveson, who was concerned...

job and knock

job and knock  n.— «A regular inquiry theme has been the RailCorp tradition of “job and knock”—a term for leaving a job after only a couple of hours but charging for the whole day.» —“Employee goes back to work despite...

spoil

spoil  n.— «One aspect of the investigation is whether Allanson received a “spoil”—racing parlance for a bookie offering over the odds.» —“CEO’s ‘Hindon’ inquiry widens” by Adrian Dunn Herald...

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