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Nutty Nuts

Why do we refer to people of questionable sanity as nuts, nutty, or nut-cases? In the early 1600s, a nut was considered something “pleasing” or “delightful.” Its meaning then transferred to someone who liked something...

Parents Using Kids’ Slang

At what point is it inappropriate for parents to use the slang of their offspring? Can you call your son dude, or give your kids a beatdown in Scrabble? Living with children makes for a slang-filled home, so it becomes part of your regular speech...

Emoticons in Business

Is it appropriate to use emoticons in business emails? After all, you wouldn’t write a smiley face in a printed letter, right? Martha and Grant discuss the point at which you start using those little symbols in correspondence. Call it...

Cheesy

Is there any etymological connection between the dairy product and the adjective cheesy, meaning inferior, cheap, or otherwise sub-par? This descriptive term for something lowbrow or poorly made at one point had positive connotations in the 1800s...

Stoved Fingers

In an earlier episode, we discussed various meanings for the term stove up. One meaning of stove up is “to be in pain from work or exercise to the point where it’s hard to move.” Similarly, lots of athletes will get stoved fingers...

Impudent Fingers

From a certain point of view, re-running episodes is like putting on a favorite pair of jeans. But this past weekend we pulled on our favorite tutus and re-aired “Why Do Girls Wear Pink?” It’s the one where Grant recites a few...

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