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Episode 1539

Clever Clogs

Ribbon fall. Gallery forest. You won’t find terms like these in most dictionaries, but they and hundreds like them are discussed by famous writers in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. The book is an intriguing collection...

Sugarloaf

In colonial times, a sugarloaf was refined sugar molded into a cone. The term sugarloaf later extended to a mountain that resembled one. This is part of a complete episode.

Who Did It And Ran

Susan in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, recalls that when someone looked less than presentable, her mother would tell them they looked like who did it and ran. Variants include who did it and ran away or who messed you up and ran away. The common...

Open Book Rock Formation

An open book is a rock formation that looks just like its name. This specialized term is one of hundreds collected and explained in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. Such a rock formation is also called a dihedral. This is...

Powder River, Let ’Er Buck

John from Bremerton, Washington, is puzzled by a radio announcer’s use of the hortatory phrase Powder River! Let ’er buck! The rollicking, rootin’-tootin’ story of this phrase is told in Western Words: A Dictionary of the American West, an...