Is it time to replace the expression “the mentally ill”? Some argue the term unfairly stigmatizes a broad range of people. Also, the winter sport of… skitching, which involves snowy roads, leather shoes — and car bumpers. Needless to say, don’t try this at home. And: We’ve all used the phrase “put on your shoes and socks.” But when you think about it, socks should come first, shouldn’t they? The reason we use this phrase has more to do with your tongue than your feet. Plus, epizootics, the big cheese, horse kickles, nimrods, who vs. that, and a handful of Turkish proverbs.

This episode first aired July 12, 2014.

Download the MP3.

 Too Many Cheetahs
A father of five shared with us his kids’ favorite joke. (Yes, it’s terribly corny.)

 The Big Chiz
Calling a hotshot the big cheese comes from the word chiz, which in both Persian and Urdu means “thing.”

Don’t try this at home, but the winter pastime of grabbing a car’s rear bumper and getting dragged along an icy road is called skitching.

 Turkish Proverb for Listening
A Turkish proverb about listening and paying attention: To one who understands, a mosquito is a lute. To one who does not understand, a drum and zurna are little.

 That vs. Who
Is it okay to say the person that did it, or should you say the person who did it? Both are fine, although who is probably preferable in that it acknowledges that person’s humanity.

 Word Quiz: Not Me, But We
Our groovy Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a quiz about the language of the 1960’s, updated for the Me Generation.

How did Nimrod, the name of a mighty hunter and a great grandson of Noah, come to mean a lamebrain idiot?

Smoking cigars is sometimes known as herfing, and a herf is a lively gathering of like-minded puffers.

 Attracted To Shiny Objects
A caller thinks he once heard a word that means “attracted to shiny objects.” The best we can do is neophilia.

 Shoes and Socks
Put on your shoes and socks. Born and bred. Lock and load. The reason these phrases are illogically ordered probably stems from the way one forms vowels in the mouth. If you think too hard about these terms, they start to look preposterous, the etymology of which, as it happens, has to do with putting things in the wrong order.

 Replacing the Term “Mentally Ill”
Some people argue that the phrase the mentally ill should be scrapped, because it’s stigmatizing and fails to take neurodiversity into account.

 Social Media Whatnot
The word whatnot has seen a resurgence in the last few years, especially on Twitter and whatnot.

 Chemistry is a Language
With all its specialized notation and rules and means of expressing ideas, is it correct to say that chemistry is a language?

 Turkish Proverb for Anticipation
A Turkish proverb about overly optimistic anticipation: Do not roll up your trousers before reaching the stream.

The epizootic is a type of imaginary ailment. You’d know it if you saw it—it’s like the horse kickles, but you don’t break out.

This episode is hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and produced by Stefanie Levine.

Photo by Paul Wilkinson. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Music Used in the Broadcast

Title Artist Album Label
Don’t Hate, Congratulate Robert Walter Super Heavy Organ Magna Carta Records
911 Beat Timmy Timeless 35th and Adams Timeless Takeover
Cabrillo Robert Walter Super Heavy Organ Magna Carta Records
Hardware Robert Walter Super Heavy Organ Magna Carta Records
Tom vs. Galt Timmy Timeless 35th and Adams Timeless Takeover
34 Small Robert Walter Super Heavy Organ Magna Carta Records
Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Song Book Verve