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Biffy Outhouse Origin

A Tuscon, Arizona, listener is right to be skeptical when someone suggests to her that the term biffy, meaning “portable toilet,” is an acronym for Bathroom in Forest for You. The etymology of biffy has eluded researchers for years...

Let’s Go Twocking and Joyriding

In Britain, the word twoc means “car theft,” and to go twocking means “to go joyriding in a stolen car.” It’s police slang derived from the acronym for the phrase Taking Without Owner’s Consent or TWOC. This is...

GUTs, Toes, and a View from the Cosmos

When theoretical cosmologists speak of GUTs and TOEs, they’re not talking about anatomy. GUT is an acronym for Grand Unified Theory and TOE stands for Theory of Everything. These are just two fun facts in the fascinating book The End of...

Time Machine

After Sarah moved from Wisconsin to Iowa, she sparked some momentary confusion when she asked a store clerk where his TYME machine was. In parts of Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan there are automated teller machines, or ATMs, called TYME machines...

Neonatal Unit Jargon

Katie in East Thetford, Vermont, shares medical slang and jargon from her work in the neonatal intensive care room at a hospital, including doorbell for “an alarm”; giraffe, “a special bed with controls for heat and...

Chronophagous WOMBAT

Chronophagous is a rare word that means “time-consuming.” WOMBAT is an acronym that stands for Waste of Money, Brains, and Time. This is part of a complete episode.