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Stop Wooling Me!

Tabitha from Palmer, Alaska, remembers her mother used to exclaim Stop wooling me!, a phrase used in parts of Appalachia, the Southeast US, and the Ozarks to mean “stop bothering me,” “stop roughhousing,” or “stop...

How to End a Conversation

Think about your last extended conversation with a stranger. Did that conversation feel too long? Too short? Or did it end exactly when you wanted it to? Two new studies by a Harvard psychologist found that conversations rarely stop when both...

Go Out vs. Go In to the Water

Maira lives in Puerto Rico and speaks English as a second language. When friends visiting from Minnesota join her at the beach and are ready to swim out into the surf, they say I’m ready to go out. When they’re ready to go back onto the...

Fart in a Mitten and Variants

Sharon in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, says that when her father wanted his children to stop squirming, he used to say “You’re just like a fart in a mitten.” Versions of this term for something moving around a lot, feature a fart in a...

Knock Me A Teakettle

The Yiddish phrase Hak mir nisht keyn tshaynik and its variants have been used to tell someone to stop babbling or making noise. Literally, it means “don’t knock me a teakettle.” This is part of a complete episode.