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Pepper Alley

A kindergartener misunderstands the name of an event at his school, insisting to his mother that he attended a pepper alley, not a pep rally. Let’s hope that’s the case, because pepper alley is actually 19th-century boxing slang for...

Like a Duck on a June Bug

Why are the names of cars so unimaginative? Grant argues that auto manufacturers might take inspiration from ornithology to build a better car name. (Then again, would you be any less aggravated if you were rear-ended by a lazuli bunting?) Also this...

scud

scud  n.—Gloss: the small and very hot “bird’s eye” chili pepper, also known as the “mouse-dropping” chili. Usually said to be nicknamed after the Scud missile. «I did balk a little at the call for 75 birdseye...

condimaniac

condimaniac  n.— «Condimaniac…a person affected by a mania for condiments; one whose cabinets and refrigerator doors are filled with an excess of food seasonings, e.g.,— “He’s such a condimaniac, he brought his own Dijon...

pepper doctor

pepper doctor  n.— «In Sierra Leone they are called “pepper doctors,” people who practice medicine under false pretences.» —“Health Care in Liberia: fake doctors, counterfeit drugs, and no alternative for...

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