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Origin of “Pooh-Pooh”

An Alabama man wonders about the verb to pooh-pooh, meaning to disdain or disapprove. It has nothing to do with the similar-sounding word for excrement, but rather the noise one makes when being dismissive. It started as simply pooh in the 1500s...

Crazy as a Betsy Bug

Cecily from Indianapolis, Indiana, recalls her North Carolina-born grandmother would describe someone doing something stupid as being crazy as a betsy bug. The phrase alludes to the horned beetle, also known as the patent-leather beetle, a large...

Chork

The verb to chork means to make the noise your feet make if your shoes are full of water. This is part of a complete episode.

Non-Word Utterances Also Have Meaning

A Pasadena, California, man says some of his relatives make a noise that sounds like unh-Unh, and it’s clear to everyone in the family that it means “Well, what did you expect?” A lexical utterance like that does have meaning, even...

Hindi Expressions

“Half-filled pots splash more” is the literal translation of a Hindi expression suggesting that those who make the most noise have the least worth noticing. Another Hindi idiom translates literally as “who saw a peacock dance in...