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If Ifs and Ands Were Pots and Pans

Sherry from Green Bay, Wisconsin, remembers that whenever she balked at doing a chore as a kid, her grandmother would say If ifs and ands were pots and pans, a tinker would have no trade. Her grandmother was suggesting that merely paying lip service...

Dead Nuts

An Escanoba, Michigan, construction worker who specializes in plumbing and pipefitting says that when he and his co-workers finish a task just so, they approvingly call it dead nuts. But he wonders if there’s anything obscene about that...

Etymology of Cobble

A professional shoemaker in Columbiana, Ohio, wonders why the words cobbler and cobble have negative connotations, given that shoemaking is a highly skilled trade. The notion of cobbling something together in a haphazard or half-hearted way goes...

Cyril Northcote Parkinson’s Law

Cyril Northcote Parkinson’s Law should be familiar to anyone who’s ever been assigned a minor task and a long weekend to get it done— “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This is part of a...