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Names for the Milky Way

Look up into the night sky, and imagine that you’ve never heard the term Milky Way. What would you call that glowing band of stars across the heavens? In Sweden, it’s called Vintergatan, or “Winter Street.” In Hawaii, the...

Coronafussgruss

The German neologism Coronafussgruss literally translates as “Corona foot greeting,” a term for the socially distanced alternative to handshakes. This is part of a complete episode.

Gemini Pronunciations

Viewers of the movie First Man, about the Gemini space program, may be surprised to learn that within National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the name Gemini is pronounced more like JEM-i-nee. Gemini is the Latin word for twin, and the source...

Age of the Turkey

The Spanish phrase estar en la edad del pavo literally translates as “to be in the age of the turkey” — to be at an awkward age. Comer pavo, literally “to eat turkey,” means to sit alone at a dance because no one has asked...

Smile Belt

The only time you’ll ever see the sun’s outer atmosphere is during a full solar eclipse, when sun itself is completely covered. That hazy ring is called the corona, from the Latin word for “crown” — just like the little crown...