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Joke Tag

In the metal-detecting world, a joke tag is a piece of metal inscribed with the jokester’s initials and buried in an area where other detectorists are searching to prank fellow hobbyists. This is part of a complete episode.

Smithereens Origins

David in Austin, Texas, wonders if smithereens, meaning “bits” or “fragments,” as in explode into smithereens, refers to little bits of metal left over from blacksmithing. Actually, the origin of smithereen is uncertain...

Stereotype Origins and Meaning

While reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Sidney from Indianapolis, Indiana, stumbled across the use of the term stereotyped notice to denote a printed announcement of a meeting. It’s an example of this word’s earliest...

Bozo Buttons

Michael in San Diego, California, plays a game with his three-year-daughter that involves spotting small round property markers in the sidewalk, which he calls bozo buttons. His mother played the same game as a youngster, but calls those metal discs...