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NECCO Wafer Name

Like the brand name ASICS, which derives from an acronym, the name of NECCO wafers is also an acronym — at least partially. The candy takes its name from that of the New England Confectionary Company. This is part of a complete episode.

ASICS Name Origin

The Latin phrase mens sana in corpore sano, or “a healthy mind in a healthy body,” comes from one of the Satires of the ancient Roman poet Juvenal. Fast-forward to 1977, when a Japanese manufacturer of athletic footwear was looking for a...

Cool Your Soup

According to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, it’s important to master the basics of writing, but there comes a time when you have to strike out on your own and teach yourself. Also: Spanish idioms involving food, a conversation about the...

Mac and Macaroni and Cheese

Is the word mac actually an acronym for macaroni and cheese? No, just a shortening of the full three-word-term. If it mac were an acronym, however, it would be a recursive acronym, or one that refers to itself. This is part of a complete episode.

Flop Sweat

Gerrymandering draws political boundaries to tip elections towards certain political parties. Originally, the word was pronounced “GARY-mandering” with a hard “g.” But why? And why did it change? • Mark Twain and Helen Keller...

BANANA Acronym

The acronym NIMBY stands for “Not In My Back Yard.” A more emphatic version used among urban planners is BANANA, which stands for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone. This is part of a complete episode.