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Down to the Lick Log

If you’re “down to the lick log,” you’re close to the end of negotiations, or nearing some kind of decision. This expression is associated with cattle ranching, a salt lick being a place where the herd congregates. The 19th...

Going for that Anti-Marketing Dollar

In this downbeat economy, some advertisers are reaching for upbeat language. Take the new Quaker Oats catchphrase, “Go humans go,” or Coca-Cola’s current slogan, “Open happiness.” Martha and Grant discuss whether...

A Lick and a Promise

If you’re doing a hasty, haphazard job, you’re said to do it with “a lick and a promise.” What’s the origin of that expression? This is part of a complete episode.

lick

lick  n.— «Many folks in the rest of the country wonder why anyone would want to live in such a flood-prone place. Luke becomes visibly tense at the subject and responds, “It’s a way of life,” referring to living on the water...

green broke

green broke  adj.— «The afflicted victim has the urge to buy a horse and the only way to lick the dreaded malady is to attend a horse sale.…Since the subject had been brought up I asked in a quieter voice, “Is he broke?”...

lip-licker’s dermatitis

lip-licker’s dermatitis  n.— «When you lick your lips, the temporary moisture evaporates, leaving the lips further dehydrated. Too much moisture around the lips can sometimes lead to what’s commonly called lip-licker’s dermatitis—a rash...