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Oh My Stars and Garters

The exclamation “Oh my stars and garters!” likely arose from a reference to the British Order of the Garter. The award for this highest level of knighthood includes an elaborate medal in the shape of a star. The expression was probably...

‘Puter Principle

What do you call an upgrade gone wrong? Perhaps the ‘Puter Principle could be the software equivalent of the Peter Principle, which in business means that every employee in a hierarchy tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence. This is...

Defining “Spatula”

A Texas listener recounts an ongoing debate in her family’s kitchen over the exact definition of the word spatula. Is it the kitchen tool used to spread icing and level measuring cups? Something you use to flip a pancake? That item with the...

shy bowel

shy bowel  n.— «Parcopresis is the phobia assigned to those who absolutely cannot do number two in a public restroom. This phobia is also termed as “shy bowel” because the sufferer, your date, must have a certain level of privacy before...

buildinglet

buildinglet  n.— «If you’ve ever parked by the marina in Flushing to see a Mets game, you may have been struck by the whimsy and drama of two white shelters that sit by the bay, structures that look as if their creator had been issued the...

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