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Gold Dance (episode #1573)

People who hunt treasure with metal detectors have a lingo all their own. Canslaw means the shreds of aluminum cans left after a lawnmower ran over them. And gold dance? That’s the happy jig you do if you find something far more valuable than...

To Hosey Something is to Claim It

Alouette from Nelson, New Hampshire, grew up using the term hosey in order to claim something, as in I hosey that! The word’s origin is uncertain, although some speculate that hosey derives from holdsie, as in I put a hold on something...

When Pigs Fly (episode #1571)

Don’t move my cheese! It’s a phrase middle managers use to talk about adapting to change in the workplace. Plus, the origin story of the name William, and why it’s Guillermo in Spanish. And a five-year-old poses a question that...

Love Bites (episode #1569)

The word filibuster has a long and colorful history, going back to the days when pirates roamed the high seas. Today it refers to hijacking a piece of legislation. Plus, the language of yoga teachers: When doing a guided meditation, you may hear...

Book It! Leaving In A Hurry

What’s the origin of the slang term book it!, meaning “depart quickly”? Since slang terms often cross-pollinate, it’s possible that by the 1960s and 1970s this expression formed at the confluence of three other slang terms:...

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