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Hue and Cry

Today, the phrase hue and cry means a clamor or uproar, but in old English law, hue and cry referred to the public outcry during the pursuit of a criminal suspect. Anyone who heard this shouting was legally obligated to join in the chase. This is...

Etymology of “Lynch”

A trip to Montgomery, Alabama, to visit The Legacy Museum chronicling the African-American experience, the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University, and the profoundly moving National Memorial for Peace and Justice prompts Martha to delve into the...

Horning Hour

A woman in Bozeman, Montana, wonders if any other families use the term “horning hour” as synonym for “happy hour.” The term’s a bit of a mystery, although it may have something to do with horning as in a shivaree...

Newlywed Shivaree

A shivaree, also spelled charivari, is a raucous, good-natured hazing for newlyweds. A discussion here about that word prompted lots of listeners to write in with their own stories about shivarees. Martha shares some of them. This is part of a...

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...