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Poronkusema

In Finland, there’s an old tradition of counting approximate distances in terms of poronkusema, literally “reindeer pee,” which is supposedly the distance a reindeer will travel between pit stops. This is part of a complete episode.

Felonious Mule

The 1948 book A Rocket in My Pocket: The Rhymes and Chants of Young Americans includes a funny rhyme about a donkey who mistakes a zebra for a felonious mule. This is part of a complete episode.

Horses Run Rampant Through English

Several phrases have stuck around long after a time when horses were much more common in daily life. They include don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, which is a warning not to expect a gift too closely, and straight from the horse’s...

Hang for a Sheep

Rick calls from Rouses Point, New York, to ask about the etymology of the phrase to hang for a sheep as for a lamb, meaning to go for broke or to go all out. The answer involves the old tradition of capital punishment for poaching animals. Given the...

As Disorganized as a Goat Rodeo

Goat rope, goat roping, and goat rodeo describe a messy, disorganized situation. Grant wrote about these terms in his book The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English. This is part of a complete episode.