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Squeaky Clean Origin

Judy in Miami, Florida, wonders how the expression squeaky clean came to mean spotless, whether literally or metaphorically. At least as early as the 1930s, the squeaky clean referred to hair that was so free of oil and dirt it makes a squeaking...

Take a Jaybird

Judy from Indianapolis, Indiana, remembers her great-aunt Fanny using the expression take a jaybird, meaning take a sponge bath. She explained it as when you wash under your wings and your tail feathers, and maybe polish off your beak. Great-aunt...

See You in the Wet Wash!

One caller says his grandma’s favorite parting phrase was “See you in the wet wash!” A wet wash was an old-fashioned facility for washing — though not drying — laundry. But it’s anyone’s guess as to why someone would...