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Turn Up The AC

Does turning up the A.C. make a room cooler or warmer? A listener grapples with multiple meanings of the word “up.” Martha suggests saying, “Turn up the air conditioning,” not “turn up the air conditioner,” just...

Tavern Sandwich

A vegetarian from Vermillion, South Dakota, wonders about the origin of a popular loose meat sandwich called a Tavern Sandwich. It’s like a sloppy joe, and also goes by the monikers Maid-Rite and Tastee. Martha notes a diner in Sioux City...

Retronyms for New Inventions and Ideas

What do we call it when new inventions or ideas change the name of something old? It used to be that the word guitar was sufficient, but now we regularly distinguish between an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. Same for television, a word that...

tape out

tape out  n.— «To make computer chips, complex instructions are commonly sent in a form that can only be read by automated fabrication machines. This process is known as “tape out.”» —“From Deepsouth Shrimp to Microsoft...

muff bag

muff bag
 n.— «Muff Bag (Homemade sex doll).» —“Prisoners’ Inventions From Angelo’s Drawings And Descriptions” Temporary Services Apr. 4, 2004. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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