What are brownie points? The answer involves military slang, wartime food rationing, and the Girl Scouts.
Category Archives: idioms
Take This Article with a Grain of Salt
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.
The Language of Love
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.
Jumping on the Bandwagon
What’s a bandwagon, and why is everyone jumping on it? The answer involves the circus, Theodore Roosevelt, and cognitive biases.
The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
Why is sliced bread our reference for things that are new and incredible? The answer involves wrapped bread, banned bread, and Wonder Bread.