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Like a Duck on a June Bug

Why are the names of cars so unimaginative? Grant argues that auto manufacturers might take inspiration from ornithology to build a better car name. (Then again, would you be any less aggravated if you were rear-ended by a lazuli bunting?) Also this...

Good Night, Nurse

Some folks use the old-fashioned exclamation “Good night, nurse!” as a handy substitute for a cussword. But where’d it come from? Grant explains how this phrase became popular in the early 20th century. This is part of a complete...

belly wadding

belly wadding  n.— «In the cowboy movies we often see cow punchers and gunfighters pull out what appears to be a short strip of leather and chew away on it—somewhat of a substitute for ribs and beans when they were on the trail or when...

trowel fodder

trowel fodder  n.— «While many of the technical aspects of archaeology can be learnt in a classroom, there is no substitute for practical experience. If you are really committed to the subject many excavations will offer places to what are...

wheat meat

wheat meat  n.— «Seitan, a gluten meat substitute that’s often called “wheat meat,” is known to soak up flavors and be “the next best thing” to a hunk of steak. Or so say the vegans.» —“Delta of Venus offers...

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