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Spill the T vs. Spill the Tea

Debra, who teaches eighth graders in San Antonio, Texas, says some of them use the expression spill the tea meaning “spill the beans” or “share gossip.” The earliest version of this phrase, which appears in print in the early...

Truth and Beauty Quarks

In the 1970s, physicists predicted the discovery of two quarks called T and B for top and bottom. Some poetically-minded physicists argued that the T and B quarks should instead be called truth and beauty, but the terms top and bottom eventually won...

Happy as Larry Meaning and Origins

A woman in Perote, Alabama, wonders about the phrase happy as Larry, meaning very happy. This expression is commonly heard in Britain and Australia. It may derive from a jocular reference to the biblical Lazarus, who presumably would have been happy...

New Yorkers Stand On Line

A New York City man wonders if there’s any truth to the story that New Yorkers say they stand on line, as opposed to in line, because of lines painted on the floor at Ellis Island. Although such lines are useful for managing large queues, the...