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Episode 1586

Mittens in Moonlight

Need a slang term that can replace just about any noun? Try chumpie. If you’re from Philadelphia, you may already know this handy placeholder word. And there’s Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, and … The Bronx — why do we add...

Pobblebonk

A pobblebonk is an Australian bullfrog that doesn’t croak so much as make a kind of plonking sound. For this reason, it’s also called a banjo frog — and it really does sound like a banjo! This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1517

Hair on Your Tongue

If you speak both German and Spanish, you may find yourself reaching for a German word instead of a Spanish one, and vice versa. This puzzling experience is so common among polyglots that linguists have a name for it. • The best writers create...

Australian Slang Puzzle

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has crafted a puzzle inspired by Australian slang. For example: New Yorkers know the meaning of a Bronx cheer, but they may not know what it means to wave one’s hand in the air in an Aussie salute. What does an Aussie...

Episode 1509

Ding-Ding Man

In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying clouds — with Latin names we still use today, like cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. Also: when...

Solastalgia

Solastalgia is psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, or by change to a place that has been familiar. Coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht, solastalgia combines the Greek root -algia, meaning pain, and solas...