There’s an old joke running around that goes as follows, “Lost: Bald, one-eyed ginger Tom, crippled in both back legs, recently castrated, answers to the name of ‘Lucky.'” Nigel Rees of The Quote Unquote Newsletter has been tracking down this oft-quoted joke, and so far he’s found it as far back as 1969. On another front, Fred Shapiro of the Yale Book of Quotations has made progress in tracing the origins of famous quotes, often to people other than those who made them famous. And the folks at Quote Investigator are doing their share in researching the history of those quips and aphorisms that do so much to frame our essays and speeches. This is part of a complete episode.
- Spicy Jambalaya 06/18/2018: Teen slang from the South, and food words that are tricky to pronounce. • High schoolers in Huntsville, Alabama, told Martha and Grant about their... [more]
- Chopped Liver 06/10/2018: There's a proverb that goes "beloved children have many names." At least, that's true when it comes to the names we give our pets. "Fluffy"... [more]
- Busted Melon 06/02/2018: When writing textbooks about slavery, which words best reflect its cold, hard reality? Some historians are dropping the word slave in favor of terms like... [more]
- Truth and Beauty 05/28/2018: Malamute, kayak, and parka are just some of the words that have found their way into English from the language of indigenous people in northern... [more]
- Jump Steady 05/19/2018: To transmit information during wartime, various industries used to encode their messages letter by letter with an elaborate system--a primitive version of today's digital encryption.... [more]