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Sock it to Me (episode #1557)

In the 15th century, the word respair meant “to have hope again.” Although this word fell out of use, it’s among dozens collected in a new book of soothing vocabulary for troubled times. Plus, baseball slang: If a batter...

Laugh-In Catch Phrases

You bet your sweet bippy! meaning “Definitely!” comes from a large cache of catchphrases from the TV variety series Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which was wildly popular in the late 1960s. The bippy in this case was a euphemism...

Fickle Finger of Fate Origins

The television show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” popular in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, was famous for awarding its goofy trophy, the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate. But the term fickle finger of fate is...

You Bet Your Sweet Bippy

Why do some puns strike us as clever, while others are plain old groaners? Martha and Grant puzzle over this question. Also, the difference between baggage and luggage, a royal word quiz, the “egg” in egg on, what to call someone who...

Bippy

Where’d we get the expression “You bet your sweet bippy!”? It’s from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, a zany television show from the late 1960s. The word bippy, by the way, means “butt.” The phrase “You...

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