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Chumpie, A Multipurpose Philadelphia Word

Alvin in Huntsville, Alabama, is a fan of the multipurpose noun chumpie, which he learned from a native Philadelphian. He remembers hearing it on the television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when actor Will Smith, who is originally from...

Royal Wedding Word Quiz

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska has a royal quiz in honor of the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. He celebrates the wedding of the King and Queen with clues to answers that contain the letters “K” and “Q” next to each other...

Madcap Comedy

What is a madcap comedy? A fan of classics like Bringing up Baby wonders about the origin of the term. Martha explains that years ago, the word cap sometimes referred to one’s “head.” So if someone’s “madcap,”...

goldfishing

goldfishing  n.— «The day I am in the studio, the report on the opposition’s activities features just one politician talking in an interview. But you don’t hear his words. He is, in TV parlance, goldfishing: you can see his lips move but...

half-tour Harry

half-tour Harry  n.— «They’ve got a difficult decision to make. But if he does come home, he’s only three months in to a sixth-month tour. There is that term for someone who doesn’t last his full time—‘half-tour Harry”—and if he does...

spaghetti tag

spaghetti tag  n.— «The Alaska Department of Fish and Game tagged the shark Foy caught with what is known as a spaghetti tag in Prince William Sound in 1999. She is No. 990432 and was tagged with about 230 other sharks that year...