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Hornswoggle, That Odd Word

Scott in Billings, Montana, wonders about the word hornswoggle, meaning to swindle, bamboozle, deceive, or trick. This verb found its way into American English during the 1820’s, when there was a fad among newspaper editors and writers for...

Pronouncing Forte

A listener in Billings, Montana, says his brother is an English teacher who corrects his pronunciation of forte, meaning “strong point.” Pedants will insist that it should be pronounced FORT, but that reflects an assumption about its...

Sacred Heart Breakers

Offbeat mascot names from Montana include the Powell County Wardens (so named because the high school is in the same county as the Montana State Prison), and the Missoula Loyola Sacred Heart Breakers. This is part of a complete episode.

I Ride An Old Paint

An Indiana woman is puzzled about a phrase in the old western song, “I Ride An Old Paint”: “I’m goin’ to Montana to throw the houlihan.” What’s a houlihan? You’ll find one version of the lyrics here...

Up or Down Vote

During the health care debate in Congress, there was lots of talk about an “up-or-down vote.” A Montana listener finds this expression annoying. What’s wrong with plain old “vote”? This is part of a complete episode.