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Flesh Fly vs. Horsefly

Rhonda in San Diego, California, and her husband have a dispute over the proper nomenclature for flies that occasionally wing their way into their home. He wants to call a large fly a horsefly, but she has a biology and animal-husbandry background...

A Pangram Short of a Letter

This lyrical entry in Wordsmith.org’s pangram contest would have been a strong contender had it not been for the fact that it includes all but one letter of the alphabet: A quivering butterfly wing conjures a zephyr that expands to a storm...

“To Wing It” Origins

The expression to wing it, meaning to perform by improvising or with little preparation, comes from the world of 19th-century theater, where it denoted the work of understudies who stepped onstage and received prompting from the wings of the stage...

Soda Suicide

What do you call the flavor explosion that comes from splashing some soft drinks from every one of a restaurant’s fountains into one cup? A suicide, a graveyard, swampwater? Any special recipes, or do you just wing it? This is part of a...

folk scare

folk scare  n.— «It’s not about all Joan, all the time. She is known for her voice—amazing—and was fortunate enough to first find success in the “folk scare,” as they call it, of the ’60s and early ’70s. But also it...

buildinglet

buildinglet  n.— «If you’ve ever parked by the marina in Flushing to see a Mets game, you may have been struck by the whimsy and drama of two white shelters that sit by the bay, structures that look as if their creator had been issued the...