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Moose on the Table

Has your boss ever used the expression “Let’s put the moose on the table”? This management buzzphrase, meaning “let’s address the problem everyone’s been avoiding,” is relatively new, showing up in print...

Egg On

Why do we speak of trying to egg on a person, meaning to urge them to do something? Martha explains that the egg in this case has nothing to do with chickens. This kind of “egg” is derives from an old root that means to “urge on...


A listener reports that when her cat starts whining, she tells it to shut its kibble-hole. If only cats understood wordplay– or English. This is part of a complete episode.

Raining Chair Legs

When it’s raining cats and dogs, the Greeks say, “It’s raining chair legs!” Omniglot has many more terms for downpours around the world. This is part of a complete episode.

Man’s Best Friend Paraprosdokian

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” This kind of sudden, surprising turn in a sentence is called a paraprosdokian. Martha and Grant trade some examples. This is part of a...


Did you know the POTUS (President of the United States) has a BOTUS? Grant explains what a BOTUS is. This is part of a complete episode.