Do you have a saying for when you drive over a bump and plop back down? In the Northeast, it’s common to say thank you, ma’am, since the nodding motion of a head going over a bump is reminiscent of genteel greetings. It’s also known as a dipsy doodle, duck-and-dip, tickle bump, whoop-de-do, belly tickler, and how-do-you-do. Our favorite, though, is kiss-me-quick, a reference to seizing the opportunity when a bump in the road throws passengers closer together. The term goes back to the days of horse-drawn buggies. This is part of a complete episode.
- Coast is Clear 04/24/2017: In the military, if you've lost the bubble, then you can't find your bearings. The term first referred to calibrating the position of aircraft and... [more]
- Sweet Dreams 04/08/2017: In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the... [more]
- Gone to Seed 04/03/2017: This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell... [more]
- Ignorance Gone to Seed 04/03/2017: The phrase ignorance gone to seed invokes an agricultural metaphor. Picture a field that is so far gone it's no longer flowering and is now... [more]
- More Wool than a Lamb 04/03/2017: The Spanish phrase tiene mas lana que un borrego means someone is quite wealthy. Literally, the phrase means "he has more wool than a lamb."... [more]