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Skipper for Team Captain

Omar in Wilmington, North Carolina, says that when he was growing up in Pakistan, he and fellow cricket players referred to their team captain as the skipper. The term skipper, or skip, originated in seafaring terminology and now applies to the...

A Rising in My Leader

A Huntsville, Alabama, physical therapist notes that patients with a hamstring cramp will sometimes say “I’ve got a rising in my leader.” Rising is a dialect term for swelling, and leader is a dialect term for tendon or muscle...

Gender Neutral Dance Terms

A swing-dance instructor in Burlington, Vermont, says gender-neutral language has been well-received in his own dance classes. Instead of the words man and woman, he now uses leader and follower. He reports this not only helps clarify his...

John Brown’s Slew Foot

“I’ll be John Brown’s slew foot,” a euphemism for “I’ll be damned,” makes reference to the abolitionist riot leader John Brown, who was said to be damned after he was hanged. Slew in this sense means...

full Thornton

full Thornton  n.— «Faceoff horse/spiritual leader Rod Brind’Amour, who contributed 18 points to the Canes’ Cup run in ‘06, went 0-0 -0 in the seven games against the Devils. Equally alarming, Cole matched Brind’Amour zero for zero (often...