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Loyalty and Monogamy

Kristin, a college professor in Dubuque, Iowa, teaches a class in the U.S. history of sexuality. She’s intrigued by the way her students increasingly use the word loyalty as a synonym for monogamy. Perhaps the word monogamy sounds more...

If a Bullfrog Had Wings

Mitchell from Arlington, Texas, wonders about his father’s expression: If a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt. It’s been around since at least the early 1900s, and is a variation on an older expression, If pigs had...

If Ifs and Ands Were Pots and Pans

Sherry from Green Bay, Wisconsin, remembers that whenever she balked at doing a chore as a kid, her grandmother would say If ifs and ands were pots and pans, a tinker would have no trade. Her grandmother was suggesting that merely paying lip service...

Shoelace Express

Sarah in Fairbanks, Alaska, has a term to add to our discussion about colloquial terms for traveling on foot, like shank’s mare, chevrolegs, and getting a ride with Pat and Charlie: taking the shoelace express. This is part of a complete...

Pat and Charlie

When you say, “I’ll get a ride with Pat and Charlie” or “I’m going to go with Pat and Charlie,” you’re talking about walking somewhere. Other colloquial ways to describe traveling on foot include getting...

More Bicycling Slang

Our conversation about gram weenies, those ultralight backpackers who go to extremes to shave off every last bit of excess weight in their gear, prompts a bicyclist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to share some cycling slang about ways to find a...