Of all the words in the English language, “hello” and “hi” are among the most inconspicuous simply because we use them so often. They are also among that small group of words that require no definition—no explanation. 

Toodle-oo (toodaloo)

The British and the French haven’t always had the best relationship. In fact, they’ve long shared a disdain for one another, which is probably why we have the phrase “toodle-oo.”


When we say that someone is “uncouth,” it means they are rude, lewd, and generally inappropriate. The word comes from the Old English root “cuth,” which meant familiar. 


The musket played a significant role in history. A smoothbore firearm, this gun saw action in conflicts from the beginning of the 1700s into the first decade of the nineteenth century. 

But why do we call it a “musket”?

Off his/her rails

When we say that someone has gone “off his rails,” we mean that he’s lost control or, perhaps even, gone crazy. 

This idiom comes from railroading. 


When someone “browbeats” another person, they’ve effectively bullied or coerced them by way of a sharply furrowed brow, harsh words, and a lot of finger pointing. The term originated in the sixteenth century as a figurative reference and remains one today.


When we hear the word “explode,” booming, fiery scenes come to mind. But explode actually originated with ancient Roman theater audiences. If a performer didn’t meet their expectations, they would hiss and shout the errant thespian off the stage. 

Through thick and thin

When you say that you’ve been with someone “through thick and thin,” it means that you’ve been with them through it all—the good times and the bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. 

In the groove

Here’s a little bit of jazz slang for you. When we say that someone is really “in the groove,” we mean that they’re doing well with something (other variants include “on a roll” and “batting a thousand”).


In the Middle Ages, houses typically were made of mud, clay, or some other earthen material. Their roofs were either thatched or shingled and equipped, not with gutters but eaves that extended a foot or so from the building. These eaves dripped rainwater from the roof, keeping the moisture away from the walls and foundation. 

Juke box

Most of them are antiques, even relics in an age of mp3 players; however, you still see some in venues bent on creating an air of nostalgia. At one time, the juke box was the centerpiece of entertainment in bars, soda shops, and pizza parlors across the country.