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If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States; in Britain, it’s a brolly. via Pocket

The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by linguist Lynne Murphy is a trove of information about differences between these two versions of English. via Pocket

In the US, if you’re ambivalent about something, you’re said to be of two minds. In the UK, however, they use a different preposition — they’re said to be in two minds. Also, Americans talk about brainstorms, which in Britain are called brain showers. via Pocket

A ski slope groomer in Stowe, Vermont, says he and his colleagues vehicles that make corduroy, the packed, ridged surfaces of snow that are perfect for skiing. Another term for corduroy, or someone who wears it, is whistle britches, because of the sound they make when the wearer is walking. via Pocket

An Escanoba, Michigan, construction worker who specializes in plumbing and pipefitting says that when he and his co-workers finish a job just so, they say approvingly Dead nuts! But he wonders if there’s anything obscene about that expression. via Pocket

A middle-school teacher and her students in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, have a question about one girl’s pronunciation of the word bagel. via Pocket

A woman in Bowling Green, Kentucky wonders: How did the phrase wet behind ears come to describe someone who’s inexperienced? http://waywordradio. via Pocket

The terms long suit and strong suit, are both used metaphorically to refer to a particular strength someone possesses. Both expressions arose from card playing. via Pocket

A woman in Fairbanks, Alaska, says she’s been described as strong like ox, smart like streetcar. Is that a compliment? Other variations include strong like bull and smart like tractor or smart like dump truck. via Pocket

A woman in Omaha, Nebraska, wonders about the difference between the adjectives homey and homely. In the UK, the word homely is a positive term that means cozy. via Pocket
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