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Apple Box and Other Movie-Making Terms

Apple box, full apple, half apple, and pancake are all moviemaking terms that refer to height gradations of boxes used for actors to stand on to appear taller. These bits of Hollywood jargon and much more are compiled in Richard Kroon’s A/V a...

Words from Greek and Roman Myths

Many English words have their roots in Greek and Roman myth. Tantalize derives from the story of King Tantalus, condemned to stand forever in a pool that receded whenever he was thirsty, and beneath a bough of fruit that pulled away whenever he...

Wigging in Stunts

In the world of stunt performers, wigging is the practice of a male stunt actor dressing as a woman to stand-in for a female actor. Painting down is the practice of white stunt performers darken their skin to stand in for actors of color. In the...

More Expressions from the Bible

The earliest recorded appearance of the phrases a house divided cannot stand and the powers that be occurred in early English translations of the Bible. Although the exact phrase a fly in the ointment isn’t in the Bible, the idea of a dead fly...

New Yorkers Stand On Line

A New York City man wonders if there’s any truth to the story that New Yorkers say they stand on line, as opposed to in line, because of lines painted on the floor at Ellis Island. Although such lines are useful for managing large queues, the...

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