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Nuts and Bolts

Every machine is held together by its nuts and bolts.  Without them, the machine would fall apart. That is also true of an organization. Its nuts and bolts are its basic, necessary elements. They are the parts that make the organization work.

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From Couch Potato to Cabin Fever

 Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a couch potato. A couch is a piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.

Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in nineteen seventy-six. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Mister Armstrong also helped write a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the “Official Couch Potato Handbook.”



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From Couch Potato to Cabin Fever

 Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a couch potato. A couch is a piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.

Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in nineteen seventy-six. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Mister Armstrong also helped write a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the “Official Couch Potato Handbook.”



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Expressions That Hit the Spot

Hit is a small word but it has a lot of power.  Baseball players hit the ball.  Missiles hit an airplane.  A car hits a tree.

Hit also joins with other words to create many colorful expressions.  One is hit the road. It means to travel or to leave a place, as suggested in this song, "Hit the Road."



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Grapevine

 Some of the most exciting information comes by way of the grapevine.That is so because reports received through the grapevine are supposed to be secret. The information is all hush hush. It is whispered into your ear with the understanding that you will not pass it on to others. You feel honored and excited. You are one of the special few to get this information. You cannot wait. You must quickly find other ears to pour the information into. And so, the information - secret as it is – begins to spread. Nobody knows how far.



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How 'Rx' Came to Be

Our story today is very old. It goes back about five-thousand years. It is about a sign that is used to represent some words.We see this sign on drug stores and whenever we visit a doctor to get an order for medicine. It also appears on bottles of pills and other medicines.



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A Chip on your Shoulder

Every week at this time we tell the story of words and expressions used in American English. Some of them are old. Some are new. Together, they form the living speech of the American people.

Some popular expressions are a mystery. No one is sure how they developed. One of these is the expression, carry a chip on your shoulder. A person with a chip on his shoulder is a problem for anybody who must deal with him. He seems to be expecting trouble. Sometimes he seems to be saying, “I’m not happy about anything, but what are you going to do about it?”


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Money Talks

People often say that money talks. They mean that a person with a lot of money can say how he or she wants things done. But it is not easy to earn enough money to gain this kind of power.Ask anyone in a business. They will tell you that it is a jungle out there. The expression probably began because the jungle is filled with wild animals and unknown dangers that threaten people. Sometimes people in business feel competing businesses are as dangerous as wild animals. And they feel that unknown dangers in the business world threaten the survival of their business.



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Heart to Heart

We will try to get to the heart of the matter to better understand the most important things about words and their stories. So take heart. Have no fear about learning new expressions. Besides, popular English words can be fun. There is no need for a heavy heart. Such feelings of sadness would only break my heart, or make me feel unhappy and hopeless.

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The Cold, Hard Truth

Cold weather has a great effect on how our minds and our bodies work. Maybe that is why there are so many expressions that use the word cold.

For centuries, the body's blood has been linked closely with the emotions. People who show no human emotions or feelings, for example, are said to be cold-blooded. Cold-blooded people act in cruel ways. They may do brutal things to others, and not by accident.



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