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These are discrete parts, or segments, of whole episodes.

Origin of Surf Lingo “Groms”

A longboarder reports she and her fellow surfers refer to young surfers as groms or grommets—not to be confused, of course, with hodads and kooks. But where’d that surfing lingo come from? This is part of a complete episode.

Rule of Thumb Origin

A listener says his sister reprimanded him for using the term “rule of thumb.” She says the expression derives from an old British law that allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick, as long as it’s no wider than his thumb. Is...


The mildly interesting meaning behind one of Grant’s nominations for the 2007 Word of the Year: earmarxist. This is part of a complete episode.

Puddle and Hang Paper

This week’s Slang This! contestant finds out whether the word puddle is a slang term for part of a car’s muffler and if the expression hang paper involves flying kites. This is part of a complete episode.