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Detective Gumshoes is Sneaky

Why are detectives in old movies and mystery novels called gumshoes? The term gumshoe derives from the image of shoes with soles made of gum rubber, which offered an improvement over the wood traditionally used for the bottom of a shoe, since those...

Shoes on the Wrong Feet

A listener shares a story about the time his young granddaughter proudly showed off having tied her shoes. He points out that her shoes are on the wrong feet, but the granddaughter takes it literally, with amusing results. This is part of a complete...

Go-Aheads

Suzanne in Williamsburg, Virginia, but grew up in Southern California, where she used the term go-aheads for the rubber-soled shoes that other people call flip-flops or rubber thongs or zoris. This is part of a complete episode.

Counting-Out Rymes for Toes

Susan from Virginia Beach, Virginia, remembers a toe-counting game from her childhood that goes “This toe tight / this penny white / this toe tizzle / this penny wizzle.” She doesn’t recall the rest and has no idea where it came...

Cowbelly

The term cowbelly is used in Louisiana to mean both a kind of work shoe and  soft river mud. This kind of silt has been described evocatively by writer Conger Beasley, Jr. This is part of a complete episode.

Chork

The verb to chork means to make the noise your feet make if your shoes are full of water. This is part of a complete episode.