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Cover the Sun With a Finger

Sam in Westville, Indiana, heard a woman from Puerto Rico use the expression You cannot cover the sun with a finger, referring to the problem of having more things to work on than she could handle. The Spanish expression tapar el sol con un dedo, or...

His Mother’s Sayings

Brian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reports that whenever someone dropped a fork in his house, his mother would say Fork to the floor, company’s at the door. She’d also say If your palm itches, you’re going to come into money, and...

Anachronism and Anatopisms

It’s always fun to catch moviemakers’ blunders. Say you’re watching an epic about ancient Rome and spot a toga-clad extra who forgot to remove his wristwatch. That’s an anachronism. But what do you call something that’s...

ecoflation

ecoflation  n.— «The findings are based on “future analysis” of how much certain commodities will go up, including oil, cereal, soy and palm oil, and how they will fare under certain environmental, governmental policy and...

chicken-winging

chicken-winging  n.— «I get up these routes with little difficulty and practice the rock-climbing techniques of stemming, jamming, crack climbing and chimneying. I even do a technique called chicken-winging, where I press my elbow and palm...

sassywood

sassywood  n.— «About 50 people in the village of Klay, northwestern Liberia, recently gathered to watch a man apply red-hot metal to the limbs of four youths accused of robbery. The man dipped a machete in a concoction of water, palm oil...