Why isn’t “you’re welcome” the default response to “thank you” for everyone? Plus lies that kids tell, Philadelphia lawyer, cowbelly, skutch, mind-bottling vs. mind-boggling, tsundoku, infanticipating, noisy piece of cheese, a word game, and lots more.
This episode first aired March 31, 2018.
Put on the Dog is About Dressing Up
To put on the dog refers to ostentatious behavior and, in particular, to dressing in a flashy way. What do dogs have to do with stylish clothing?
A Noisy Piece of Cheese
A woman in San Diego, California, says that when she was making too much noise as a youngster, her dad would gently reprimand her by saying, “You’re a noisy piece of cheese.”
Palate vs. Palette
Need a mnemonic to remember difference between the spelling of the palate in your mouth and an artist’s palette? Associate the one in your mouth with the past tense of the verb to eat.
Autocomplete Word Game
Quiz Guy John Chaneski, who also writes for Paid Off, a television game show starring Michael Torpey, offers a game-show style puzzle. For example, what are the top three most likely responses from Google’s autocomplete feature if you type in the question “Why does my arm…”?
Why do some people not say “you’re welcome” in response to “thank you”? A Lantana, Texas, woman observes that during media interviews, people will often respond to a “thank you” by saying “thank you” themselves.
Hungry Horse Pun
A listener in Hope, North Wales, points out that there’s punny way to spell a hungry horse in four letters. (Hint: one particularly British synonym for horse is gee-gee.)
Are Funner and Funnest Words?
A 10-year-old in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, says friends correct him whenever he says funner and funnest. Are they really words, and if so, is it okay to use them?
Pig, Slang for Police
A law enforcement officer says he and his colleagues are curious about how the word pig came to be used as a derogatory term for police. This use has a long history that goes back more than two centuries.
Whopping Lies Kids Tell
A tweet soliciting the biggest lies people heard from other kids while growing up turns up some whoppers, like the boy who claimed his great-great-great-great grandfather was Elvis.
Gap, Notch, Saddle, and Pass
What you call the space between mountains depends on which part of the country you’re in. The word gap is used more in the Southern United States, notch in the Northeast, and saddle or pass in the West. See Grant’s analysis of place names on the maps below.
There’s a word for those noble souls who’re picking up litter while they jog. They’re ploggers. The neologisms plogger and plogging are a combination of the English word jogging and Swedish plocka upp, which means pick up.
A listener in Omaha, Nebraska, says that when he was being particularly inquisitive, his grandmother would exclaim, “You ask more questions than a Philadelphia lawyer!” This term for a particularly shrewd attorney goes all the way back to the late 18th century, and may be a reference either to Ben Franklin or the Philadelphia attorney Andrew Hamilton, who successfully defended German-American printer John Peter Zenger.
Mind-Boggling vs. Mind-Bottling
The term mind-boggling describes something that has a powerful effect on the mind. Sometimes it’s misunderstood as mind-bottling, an eggcorn popularized by a Will Farrell movie.
The Italian-American slang word skutch refers to someone who’s being annoying and derives from the Italian word scocciare, which means “to pester.”
This episode is hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and produced by Stefanie Levine.
Photo by John Picken. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Music Used in the Broadcast
|Power Montage||Keith Mansfield||Flamboyant Themes||KPM Music|
|Utility Cue||Keith Mansfield||Life Is For Living||KPM Music|
|Spark Plug||Melvin Sparks||Spark Plug||Prestige|
|Barrio Bueno||The Cabildos||Cross Fire||Vroommm|
|Phase Out||Dave Richmond||Contemporary Styles In Electr0-Pop||KPM Music|
|Coming Along||Duncan Lamont||Links, Bridges, and Stings||KPM Music|
|Borderland||The Cabildos||Cross Fire||Vroommm|
|Perpetual Shake||Paolo Zavallone||Music For Dancefloors||Strut|
|Fugitive On The Run||Peter Sander||The Super Sounds of Bosworth 2||Trunk Records|
|Hang Loose||Max Harris||The Super Sounds of Bosworth||Trunk Records|
|Volcano Vapes||Sure Fire Soul Ensemble||Out On The Coast||Colemine Records|