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Binky

When you think of the word binky, a child’s pacifier probably comes to mind. But it’s also a term known among rabbit fanciers. It refers to when bunnies frolic and jump around. This is part of a complete episode.

Pear-Shaped

You might use the phrase pear-shaped to describe someone who’s wide in the hips, but to say everything went pear-shaped can also mean that things went wrong. This slang term was among the members of Britain’s Royal Air Force during the...

Where Does Voting “Poll” Come From?

Why do we vote at a polling place? Pol in Middle English simply meant head, and polls are the place where heads are counted. The Middle English word for head also gives us get polliwog, a young frog with a wiggly head, and tadpole, those toads and...

Asafetida

Asafetida, the plant used in asafidity bags intended to ward off disease, is also a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and it’s said to counterbalance heavy spices and relieve stomach cramps. This is part of a complete episode.

Cat’s Game

Why do we refer to a draw in tic-tac-toe as a cat’s game? Throughout the history of the game, cats have been associated with it. In some Spanish-speaking countries, for example, it’s known as gato, or “cat.” This is part of a...

Dried Plum

The term dried plum has come into vogue since prune seems to have some negative connotations. This is part of a complete episode.

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