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Betting Boots and Britches

The phrases “You bet your boots!”” and “You bet your britches!” mean “without a doubt” and most likely originate from gambling culture, where you wouldn’t want to bet your boots or trousers without...

Can of Worms

What do you call a guy with a bald pate? A chrome dome? Maybe the lucky fellow is sporting a solar panel for a sex machine. Also, which would you rather open: a can of worms or Pandora’s box? Plus, ordinary vs. ornery, versing vs. versus...

Episode 1382

Catbird Seat

Online recaps of Mad Men or Breaking Bad can be as much fun as the shows themselves. So why not recap classic literature — like, say, Dante’s Inferno? A literary website is doing just that. And, you’ve heard about the First World and the...

Origin of Catbird Seat

The legendary baseball announcer Red Barber is credited with popularizing the term the catbird seat, the enviable position in poker where you’re last to bet. James Thurber’s amusing story “The Catbird Seat” published in The...

chop

chop  v.— «Hawkins led for a large part of Sunday’s final portion, and started talk of splitting the pot early and everyone going home (“chopping,” in poker parlance). Then he lost a couple of hands. (Personally, I think he was...

crying call

crying call  n.— «Sometimes you face a big bet on the river and you think you’re beat. But you hope you’re not, so you call, only to find out that you indeed were beat. In poker parlance, it is known as a “crying call,” and while it might...