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That Melon’s Busted

If you’re in the Ozarks, you might hear the expression that means the same as water under the bridge or spilled milk: “that melon’s busted.” The idea in all three cases is that something irrevocable has happened, and...

Terms for Practical Jokes

The Dictionary of American Regional English has many terms for practical jokes played on newbies, like sending someone out for a bucket of steam, or for pigeon milk, or for a nickel’s worth of dimes. This is part of a complete episode.

Cheesy

Is there any etymological connection between the dairy product and the adjective cheesy, meaning inferior, cheap, or otherwise sub-par? This descriptive term for something lowbrow or poorly made at one point had positive connotations in the 1800s...

Joe with Cow and Sand

There’s nothing like some joe with cow and sand in the morning. That would be “coffee with milk and sugar” in World War II naval slang. This is part of a complete episode.

Graveyard Stew

A Charlottesville, Virginia, caller says that when she was a child and recovering from an illness, her mother fed her a kind of milk toast she called graveyard stew. Is that strange name unique to her family? This is part of a complete episode.