What are brownie points? The answer involves military slang, wartime food rationing, and the Girl Scouts.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
Spreading More Christmas Cheer: Christmas Carols Part 2
here do MORE of our favorite Christmas songs come from? Thanksgiving sleigh rides, a department store giveaway, and a pilgrimage to Israel.
Where Does Pie Come From?
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 Did S’mores Come From?
Where did s’mores come from? The answer involves the Girl Scouts, a Wikipedia hoax, and the Father of American Vegetarianism.
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.
Why does the word honeymoon refer to a vacation a couple takes after getting married? The answer involves myths about mead, poetry about love, and a warning about waning.
Cookies (The Slightly Less Delicious Ones)
Why are the tracking files that websites place on your computer called cookies? The answer (somewhat) involves shopping carts, Chinese takeout, and a German fairy tale.
Left, Right, Center
Why are conservatives referred to as the “right” and liberals referred to as the “left” in politics? The answer involves the French Revolution, the quick spread of information through newspapers, and the tense interlude between the two World Wars.
Pink Onesie, Blue Onesie: Infant Gender-Coding through Color
Why are baby girls dressed in pink and baby boys in blue? The answer involves marketing tactics, a pair of famously misconstrued paintings, and ultrasound technology. White Dresses for All Throughout history, socially defined rules have dictated certain types of clothing that are suitable for certain people. What you might not realize is that sociallyContinue reading “Pink Onesie, Blue Onesie: Infant Gender-Coding through Color”
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Where did Rock, Paper, Scissors come from? The answer involves a Japanese game called jan-ken but probably does not involve Celtic settlers in Portugal and the French general who aided George Washington during the Revolutionary War.