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Salad Days, Green in Judgment

Kaitlyn from Rye, New York, is puzzled by people referring to their youth as their salad days. It’s drawn from a metaphor employed at the end of Act One of Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare. Cleopatra recalls a past dalliance with...

Impfneid, Vaccination Envy

The handy German neologism Impfneid literally means “vaccine envy.” It’s one of many German words coined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neid in German means “envy” and Impf, meaning “vaccine,” derives from...

Episode 1533

Life of Riley

Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout lane is named after a family’s beloved horse. And: 50 years ago in the United States, some Latino elementary...

Pick Your Brain

On our Facebook group, listeners had a spirited discussion about the expression I’d like to pick your brain, meaning “I’d like to get your advice.” It’s a metaphor for extracting knowledge, of course, but the literal...

Lay an Egg Origins and Meaning

Kieran in Huntsville, Alabama, wonders about the term laid an egg meaning performed badly. The expression to lay an egg goes back at least as far as cricket matches in the 1860s, where duck’s egg referred to a zero on a scoreboard. Later in...

Episode 1511

Care Package

Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of World War II. They were from the Committee for American Remittances to Europe, the acronym for which is CARE...

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