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Barefoot Tea

If you like your tea barefoot, it doesn’t mean you’re kicking your shoes off. It means you’re drinking it without milk or sugar. Similarly, barefoot bread is made without shortening, lard, or eggs, and barefoot dumplings are made...

Origin of the Word “Paraphernalia”

Rachel from Ashland, Virginia, wonders about the origin of paraphernalia, or “items belonging to a particular person or used for a particular activity.” In ancient Greece, the pherna was a bride’s dowry, and the parapherna was her...

The Origiins of Skedaddle

The origin of skedaddle, meaning to “run away in a panic” or “flee,” has proved elusive. Renowned etymologist Anatoly Liberman suggests it may be related to a Scottish term, skeindaddle, meaning “to spill.” Its...

Carnegie

How do you pronounce the name Carnegie? The Scottish industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, pronounced it with an accent on the second syllable, as his namesake the Carnegie Corporation of New York takes pains to make clear. Good luck...

Collieshangles

Collieshangles is an old Scottish term for a quarrel, possibly deriving from the notion of two collie dogs fighting. This is part of a complete episode.