What are brownie points? The answer involves military slang, wartime food rationing, and the Girl Scouts.
here do MORE of our favorite Christmas songs come from? Thanksgiving sleigh rides, a department store giveaway, and a pilgrimage to Israel.
Where did all of our favorite Christmas songs come from? Each one has a unique story, some of which involve a broken organ, a statue of Johannes Gutenberg, and a chain email hoax.
Where does pie come from, and why do we eat it on Thanksgiving? The answer involves a certain bird known for collecting miscellaneous objects, Queen Elizabeth I, and elaborate dinnertime entertainment.
Where does Halloween come from? The answer involves community bonfires, ritualized hospitality, and visits from the Otherworld.
Why do we do change our clocks twice a year for Daylight Saving Time? The answer involves Benjamin Franklin’s trusty almanac, bug hunting, and coal-powered warfare (notice that farmers are not on the list).
Why do we take something uncertain “with a grain of salt”? The answer involves a universal antidote to poison, Bible commentary, and some questionable photos of Ireland.
Where did s’mores come from? The answer involves the Girl Scouts, a Wikipedia hoax, and the Father of American Vegetarianism.
Why do we have such strange ways of saying we’re in love—whether we’re infatuated, head over heels, or crushing on someone? The answer involves structural metaphors, semantic change, and secret diaries.
Why are apples seen as the “default” fruit in Western culture? The answer involves Greek myths, Latin spelling mistakes, and English semantic narrowing.