Home » tale

Tagtale

Never Cook Your Cabbage Twice

Diane calls from eastern North Carolina to talk about a phrase her father used if she asked him to repeat something: I never chew my celery twice. He probably conflated the idea of chewing celery with some far more common expressions involving doing...

A Few Quick Book Reviews

Although I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like, here are a few books I have recently read and enjoyed. Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky of the Yiddish Book...

Moose on the Table

Has your boss ever used the expression “Let’s put the moose on the table”? This management buzzphrase, meaning “let’s address the problem everyone’s been avoiding,” is relatively new, showing up in print...

Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-ca-monga!

All aboard! This week, a bit about the musical language of railroad conductors’ calls: “Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-ca-monga!” Also, the origin of the military slang term cumshaw, tips for learning Latin, the influence of Spanish...