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Independent as a Hog on Ice

Pam from Denton, Texas, says her mother-in-law always used the expression independent as a hog on ice. A hog that stubbornly gets itself stranded on a sheet of ice is in an extremely awkward position. A passage in the book Jack Shelby: A Story of...

Three Sheets To The Wind Sailing Origins

Sister Patricia Marie in San Antonio, Texas, wonders why we use three sheets to the wind to describe someone who is inebriated. In nautical terminology, some of the ropes, or lines, attached to the corner of a sail are called sheets. If three of...

Paper Stretchers

A listener in St. Cloud, Minnesota, reports that when she first started in the printing business, new employees would be hazed with the prank assignment of finding a “paper stretcher” to make a web — the big sheet of paper that...

French Fold

Take a sheet of paper. Fold it in half. Then fold it in half again. That’s called a French fold. This is part of a complete episode.

Cabbage as a Verb

Tracy from Sherman, Texas, wonders why her dad always used cabbage as a verb to mean “to pilfer or swipe.” This term goes back to at least the 18th century, when the verb to cabbage had to do with employee theft. Specifically, it...