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The Origins of “Shoo-In”

Hamid in San Diego, California, says that his wife is a job recruiter who finds people to fill high-profile positions. She will come home and say, “This candidate’s a shoo-in.” What’s the story with shoo-in? Where does it come from? It has something...

Galooly, Galoot

A man in Rupert, Vermont, says his wife affectionately calls him a big galooly. It’s unclear where that word might have come from, although it might derive from galoot. This is part of a complete episode.

Sneaky Pete

A man in Red Lodge, Montana, says he and his wife sometimes accuse each other of being a sneaky pete. It’s an affectionate expression they use if, say, one of them played a practical joke on the other. The origin of this term is uncertain...

Gaslighting

A listener in Tampa, Florida, was discussing the 2016 presidential election when the term gaslighted came up. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which victims are manipulated into doubting their own perceptions. The term was popularized...

Quick, Get a Spoon!

We’ve spoken before about “It’ll be better when you’re married,” often used to console someone who just had a small scrape or cut. A Chicago-area listener wrote us to say that in such cases, her mom’s phrase was...