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The Thing Is, Is

Many public speakers, including President Obama, have developed a reputation for using the reduplicative copula. You know, that thing where he says, “the thing of it is, is…” In wonky speak, this is what happens when a cleft...

“Doozy” is Not from the Car

On a previous episode, we discussed the origins of doozy, and boy did we get some responses! Many of you called and wrote to say that the Duesenberg luxury car is the source of the term. While the car’s reputation for automotive excellence may...

Earwigs

What is an earwig? Those skinny brown insects with pinchers coming out their backsides have a reputation in folklore for crawling through people’s ears and laying eggs in their skull. But really, earwigs are just simple insects that take their...

make a sheikh program

make a sheikh program  n.— «The Sahwa have also endeared themselves to the Sunni community by lobbying for the release of Iraqis held in American detention camps. They have succeeded in securing the release of more than a thousand...

beaglemation

beaglemation  n.— «Small towns mean people who probably know you in some form, and my dog, Lucy, what I call a “beaglemation” (part beagle, part Dalmatian) has a smallish reputation.» —“Surprises on our back-road...

snowshoe spamming

snowshoe spamming  adj.— «Like a snowshoe spreads the load of a traveler across a wide area of snow, some spammers use many frequently-changing IP addresses and domains to spread out the spam load in order to dilute recipient reputation...