25 Apr 2022

Gird Your What?

Q. ‘Gird your loins.’ Do you hear Stanley Tucci voicing that phrase? I certainly do. Boss Miranda Priestly, aka the incredible Meryl Streep, is foot out of the car, eyes on the elevator, and soon to thunder into the offices of Runway Magazine. “Why is no one REAdy?” Tucci as

29 Mar 2022

Travel Superstitions

Q. Why are there so many superstitions around travelling? Which ones have deep historic roots? . A. With all of the mystery and unpredictability of travel, it is no wonder that it has attracted so many superstitions. Anything for an illusion of control. Many clutch their lucky talismans in ever-squishier planes,

08 Mar 2022

Dull as Dishwater

Q. One thing is for sure: this is not how most of us would want to be described. ‘Dull as dishwater’. Dirty, dish-soiled water moves quickly from dull to disgusting. Of all the possible representations of dullness, how did dishwater find its way into the back of this idiom? .

21 Feb 2022

Dropping Shoes

Q. Well, that one horrid thing happened. And now, there’s the threat of more grief to follow. Murder hornets, you say. There’s a well-used expression to describe this feeling of impending doom: ‘Waiting for the other shoe to drop’.  But, why shoes? Where does that phrase originate? . A. Have

01 Feb 2022

If At First Your Invention Stinks

Q. What are some examples of inventions that were a flop to start, but then found new life put to an altogether different purpose? . A. As it turns out, there have been lots. Our first look in… Bubble Wrap How do you feel about the pop, pop, pop of

26 Jan 2022

Tough As Old Boots

Q. What are some forgotten idioms that are well-suited to our odd times? . A. We scanned the Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (because, you know, rabbit hole …) to find old-fashioned sayings that could be revived for life as we currently know it. In our words … . .

10 Jan 2022

All Hail The National Unicorn

Q. Which country chose the unicorn as their national animal? And how did that come to be? . A. Hint: In the historically rooted language of the area, the unicorn is known as: aon-adharcach. . Gustave Moreau. Les Licornes. 1887 . ‘Aon-adharcach’ is the Gaelic word for unicorn. The mythical

31 Dec 2021

Walk The Block For 2022

Q. With the 2021 we’ve had – especially on the heels of  2020 – we’ll be breaking out the New Year’s Eve good luck charms to usher in a better 2022. Any  global rituals that seem particularly relevant? . A. Given the lockdowns and limited travel of the last two

20 Dec 2021

Emmy, Grammy, Oscar + Tony

Q. EGOT. Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony Award. It’s a rare quadruple threat honour bestowed on few. One example? The amazing Rita Moreno who, with her current turn in Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’, might be up for her second Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar – different

24 Nov 2021

Can’t Have Your Cake

Q. Oh sure. So and so wants to have their cake and eat it too. We’ve all heard the expression, but how does that make sense? What is so presumptuous about wanting to eat the cake you have bought, baked, or been gifted? . A. For starters, this is another