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Mariachi Tacos

Caitlin calls from Laredo, Texas, to ask about the slang term for breakfast tacos popular there. Why are they called mariachis? In American Tacos: A History and Guide, José Ralat relates a story that links the name to a restaurant that prepared...

Picayune

Mike calls from Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania to ask about the word picayune, meaning “petty.” Why would a New Orleans newspaper call itself The Times-Picayune? The adjective picayune, meaning “trifling” or...

Pokey Means Jail

Andres from San Diego, California, wonders: Why do we refer to jail as the pokey? The term, along with its variant pogie or pogey, likely goes back to a word for workhouse, a prison where people worked as part of their sentence, much like...