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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...

Duzzy Puzzy

Quiz Guy John Chaneski’s puzzle this week was inspired by the name for that two-way radio, the walkie-talkie. If you named other objects using the same repetitive pattern, you’d refer to a pair of socks as feety-heaties. Following that...

Shoes and Socks

Put on your shoes and socks. Born and bred. Lock and load. The reason these phrases are illogically ordered probably stems from the way one forms vowels in the mouth. If you think too hard about these terms, they start to look preposterous, the...

Two Shades of Grey

You’ve noticed work seems to expand to fill the time given to complete it. But did you know there’s a term for that? Also this week, the New England exclamation “So don’t I!,” grey vs. gray, building storeys, being...

Plural Pair vs. Pairs

What’s the plural of pair? Is it correct to say “two pairs of socks” or “two pair of socks”? The most common usage is “pairs,” but it might depend on whether you think of the things as a unit, like socks...

Dexterous Extremities

A Canadian listener’s boyfriend has a special talent. He can remove his socks, roll them up, and throw them across the room into the laundry basket, all with his toes. She says he has toe dexterity, but wonders if the word dexterous can apply...