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Many Happy Returns? Return to What?

Rick in San Diego, California, wants to know why his older relatives always inscribed birthday cards with the phrase many happy returns of the day. This phrase, and the shorter version, many happy returns, indicates that the speaker is sending...

You Paid How Much for What?

In response to our conversation about using the term bedroom suite to denote a collection of furniture, Judith in Glen Rose, Texas, shares a hilarious story about when her Pennsylvania-born beau misunderstood what she meant when she told him she...

Taking a Dump on the Ice

JJ spent much of his life in Rhode Island but now lives in Racine, Wisconsin, which has led to some hilarious misunderstandings involving the different dialects of those regions. For one thing, his neighbors in the Midwest made certain assumptions...

Loof Lirpa, the Ledendary Norwegian

Pat from Bishop, California, shares a story about a college history professor who gave a detailed lecture about a heroic Norwegian named Loof Lirpa. Only after taking extensive notes did the students realize that the professor was lecturing on the...

A Scrimption

A scrimption is “something tiny,” or as described in a 19th-century newspaper article, “the minutest atom, the little end of nothing sharpened.” This is part of a complete episode.

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