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Episode 1557

Sock it to Me

In the 15th century, the word respair meant “to have hope again.” Although this word fell out of use, it’s among dozens collected in a new book of soothing vocabulary for troubled times. Plus, baseball slang: If a batter...

Baseball Cheese

Paul from Omaha, Nebraska, says as a result of watching the College World Series in that city, he and his son wondered when sports announcers started using the word cheese to describe a pitcher’s fastball, and such variants as throwing cheese...

1930s Baseball Slang

Baseball slang collected during the 1930s includes fishing trip for “taking a swing at a bad ball,” pour the pine for “to hit a good ball solidly,” and the derisive term collisions for “college players,”, that is...

A Can of Corn in Baseball

A longtime baseball umpire wonders why the slang phrase can of corn refers to “an easily caught pop fly ball.” Another term for “a high fly ball” is rainmaker, suggesting that the ball goes up so far that it’s capable...

Episode 1546

Singing Sand

Cat hair may be something you brush off, but cat hair is also a slang term that means “money.” In the same way, cat beer isn’t alcoholic — some people use cat beer as a joking term for “milk.” And imagine walking on a...

Kittenball

The slang term kittenball is used in parts of the American Midwest for the sport of softball. According to The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, a fire company Minneapolis, Minnesota, first applied the term kittenball to softball, and called its first...