Home » Origins » Page 3

TagOrigins

Episode 1468

Hell’s Half Acre

Hundreds of years ago, the word girl didn’t necessarily mean a female child — in the 14th and 15th centuries, it could refer to a child of either sex. Only later did its meaning become more specific. • Some people think that referring to a...

Origins of “Camp” and “Campy”

The noun camp and the adjective campy refer to movies, theater, or a style or an exaggerated manner of creative or personal expression that combines high and low elements of culture. These terms were first used in the underground gay community, and...

Tavern Sandwich

A vegetarian from Vermillion, South Dakota, wonders about the origin of a popular loose meat sandwich called a Tavern Sandwich. It’s like a sloppy joe, and also goes by the monikers Maid-Rite and Tastee. Martha notes a diner in Sioux City...

First Use of Famous Quotations

There’s an old joke running around that goes as follows, “Lost: Bald, one-eyed ginger Tom, crippled in both back legs, recently castrated, answers to the name of ‘Lucky.'” Nigel Rees of The Quote Unquote Newsletter has been...

Cut to the Chase

This week: whether cotton-pickin’ is racist, unintentionally funny headlines, whether enormity can simply mean “enormous,” how a person can be “such a pill,” and pandiculation. “It’s good stuff, Maynard...