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Are Garbage and Trash the Same Thing?

Jill in Shelton, Washington, says that when she lived in Southern California, she understood the word garbage to mean food scraps, with trash referring to everything else collected curbside. Historically, garbage has referred to the wet, disgusting...

Frivol and Frivolous

The Latin word frivolous means “silly,” “empty,” or “trifling,” and is the source of the English adjective frivolous. A back-formation from frivolous, the lesser-known English verb frivol, means “to do...

Pollyfox, Bollyfox

A San Diego, California, listener recalls that growing up in Mississippi, friends and family would use the terms bollyfox or bollyfoxing, referring to a sassy way of walking. The more common version is pollyfox, meaning to waste time or lollygag...

Waste vs. Spill

If someone spilled a box of paper clips, for example, would you say that they wasted the paper clips, even though the clips could be picked up and re-used? Although most people wouldn’t, this sense of waste meaning “to spill” is...

House Moss

You might refer to those soft rolls of dust that collect under your bed as dust bunnies, dust kitties, or woolies, but in the Deep South they’re sometimes called house moss. This is part of a complete episode.