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Mary Anning Sells Seashells

She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells she sells are seashells I’m sure, so if she sells seashells on the seashore, then I’m sure she sells seashore shells. Some claim that this tongue twister is about the early life of 19th...

Can I Spell You

Mary, from Royal Oaks, Michigan, says she once confused a friend by offering to relieve her of snow shoveling duties with the question, “Can I spell you?” This usage of spell, which refers to substituting for a period of time, has been...

Pear-Shaped

You might use the phrase pear-shaped to describe someone who’s wide in the hips, but to say everything went pear-shaped can also mean that things went wrong. This slang term was among the members of Britain’s Royal Air Force during the...

Royal Wedding Word Quiz

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska has a royal quiz in honor of the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. He celebrates the wedding of the King and Queen with clues to answers that contain the letters “K” and “Q” next to each other...

supermajor

supermajor  n.— «Only 10 years after “supermajor” entered the oil industry’s lexicon, the term is already showing its age. At the end of 2000, once the oil industry’s mega-mergers were completed, the combined market capitalisation of...