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Frozen Rope

Where would you find a sports commentator talking about high cheese and ducks on a pond? Here’s a hint: both terms are part of what makes America’s pastime so colorful. • A government official in New Zealand proposes a new, more...

POTUS, FLOTUS, and SCOTUS

How did the acronyms POTUS, FLOTUS, and SCOTUS for President of the United States, First Lady of the United States, and Supreme Court of the United States come about? This is part of a complete episode.

Around the Gool

A woman in Monkton, Vermont, says that when she and her 91-year-old mother return from a leisurely drive, her mother will proclaim, “That was a nice ride around the gool.” The phrase going around the gool appears in the Dictionary of...

The Origiins of Skedaddle

The origin of skedaddle, meaning to “run away in a panic” or “flee,” has proved elusive. Renowned etymologist Anatoly Liberman suggests it may be related to a Scottish term, skeindaddle, meaning “to spill.” Its...

Wheel Well Ice Chunks

A deckhand on the Lake Champlain ferry in Burlington, Vermont, wonders if there’s a word for those accumulated chunks of ice in the wheel wells of cars. He calls them crusticles, but as we’ve discussed before, they go by lots of names...

Slammed Meaning Busy

A worker in Montgomery, Alabama, doctor’s office reports that when the office is extremely busy, she and her colleagues will say “We’re slammin‘” or “We’re slammed.” It’s a common expression in...

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