January 02, 2004

*Ask Jen: Gravy Nose Roll Edition

Reader Jeff wants to know, "What's the explanation for the phrase 'gravy train'?"

As early as the 1930's, gravy was American slang for easy money. Gravy train became railroad terminology for an easy run with good pay.

Bonus fact: a doubleheader was a train with two engines before it made its way into baseball jargon.

Jim writes, "What's the button and who's nose are we talking about in the phrases 'On the button' and 'On the nose'?"

The button is the target and the nose is not a specific nose, Jim. Sheesh.

Susie wants to know "How did Tootsie Rolls get their name?"

On this site it says the inventor's daughter was nicknamed Tootsie and it was named for her. It also says they produce more than 60 million Tootsie Rolls a day. Cool.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at January 2, 2004 03:22 PM


60,000,000 tootsie rolls a day?! I haven't seen anyone eating a tootsie roll in decades. Who's buying them all?!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 3, 2004 05:38 PM