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Bozo Buttons

Michael in San Diego, California, plays a game with his three-year-daughter that involves spotting small round property markers in the sidewalk, which he calls bozo buttons. His mother played the same game as a youngster, but calls those metal discs...

Boodler

A boodler is someone involved in political graft or corruption. The word likely derives from Dutch boedel, meaning “property.” This is part of a complete episode.

Second Shift Spouse

What’s the best term for an ex-wife’s new husband? A caller in Chico, California, is friendly with both his ex-wife and her new love, and wonders if there’s a more civil term than floozy. Other options: the second shift, and...

Addicting vs. Addictive

What’s the difference between addicting and addictive? Not much, although addictive is the older term. Grant suggests that addicting is more about a quality of the person being affected, whereas if something’s addictive, that’s an...

split roll

split roll  n.— «“The whole system is completely unenforceable,” says Lenny Goldberg, a Sacramento lobbyist who, as director of the California Tax Reform Assn., has been pressing for years to institute a “split roll”—that...

MobMov

MobMov  n.— «Guerrilla drive-ins or “MobMovs”—shorthand for mobile movies—are popping up around the country in a variety of configurations. Unlike Young’s old-school use of real film, guerrilla drive-ins typically eschew the...