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Low Sick

A Dallas-area police officer is curious about low sick, a term which he and his fellow officers use to describe someone dangerously ill. Sometimes rendered as low sig, the expression is largely associated with the speech of African Americans, and...

To Take Tea for the Fever

After the death of Aretha Franklin, her ex-husband described her as someone who didn’t take tea for the fever. If you don’t take tea for the fever, you refuse to put up with any nonsense. Among many other places, this expression appears...

Reading Poems in Succession

Glyn Maxwell, in a recent review of the book Ideas of Order: A Close Reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, argues that reading the sonnets altogether in a collection is a little strange, since many of them are worth more attention than...

Cooter Brown

Who is Cooter Brown? And just how high is he? His name appears in lots of phrases, including “high as Cooter Brown,” “drunk as Cooter Brown,” “dead as Cooter Brown,” “fast as Cooter Brown,” and...