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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...

Episode 1532

Off the Turnip Truck

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...

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...

Episode 1511

Care Package

Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of World War II. They were from the Committee for American Remittances to Europe, the acronym for which is CARE...

Episode 1505

Coinkydink

Sometimes it’s a challenge to give a book a chance: How many pages should you read before deciding it’s not worth your time? There’s a new formula to help with that decision — and it’s all based on your age. • Have you ever...