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So Mad I Could Spit Nickels

Juice in Genoa, New York, remembers her mother used to say I am so mad I could spit nickels. It’s one of several variations on the idea of being angry enough to spit, period, or to spit something specific, such as spit tacks, spit nails, spit...

Empty Wagons Make the Most Noise

Marjorie in Huntsville, Alabama, wonders about the saying Empty wagons make the most noise suggesting that the people who talk the most about a subject aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable. This notion goes all the way back to ancient...

grunt

grunt  v.— «Gary Revell gets up every morning before sunrise, heads into the woods and grunts. Not because it’s so early. It’s the term for coaxing worms from the ground by the hundreds to be scooped up and plopped in a tin can until he...

Newlywed Hazing Shivaree

One definition of a shivaree is “a compliment extended to every married couple made up of beating tin pans, blowing horns, ringing cowbells, playing horse fiddles, caterwauling, and in fine, the use of every disagreeable sound to make the...

mungo

mungo  v.— Note: A verb form of the noun mongo. «Such works and many like them are cast in bronze, an alloy of copper and tin that is particularly durable. They could easily take on time and weather, but not a strong market in scrap metal...

pontypool

pontypool  n.— Note: Named for town in Wales. «Tole is sometimes called japanned ware, pontypool or toleware. Whatever it’s called, it’s painted tin.» —“Dishes, other pieces used colorful milk glass” by Ralph Kovel, Terry...