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Ampersands & Business Names

Following in the tradition of Crate & Barrel and other businesses that include an ampersand in their names, the Hipster Business Name Generator offers fanciful names for trendy companies, such as Rainstorm & Egg or Peach & Creature. In...

Counting Coup

Counting coup refers to a tradition among the Plains Indians of North America of winning prestige and showing dominance by edging close enough to an enemy to strike him without dealing a deathblow. This is part of a complete episode.

Whoop it Up

Amanda in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders about her mother’s exhortation whoop it up!, meaning “Get going!” It’s part of a long tradition of making noise to urge someone to hurry. This is part of a complete episode.

Hang for a Sheep

Rick calls from Rouses Point, New York, to ask about the etymology of the phrase to hang for a sheep as for a lamb, meaning to go for broke or to go all out. The answer involves the old tradition of capital punishment for poaching animals. Given the...

Pat and Charlie Folktale

There’s a story in the African-American folktale tradition about two tired mules named Pat and Charlie. Here’s a version from American Negro Folktales by Richard Dorson. This is part of a complete episode.

Shivaree, Charivari

A shivaree, also spelled charivari, is a raucous tradition of playing tricks on a newlywed couple. The practice was immortalized in the 1955 musical Oklahoma! This is part of a complete episode.