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Shiver Me Timbers

Careful what you criticize! Not long ago, some words that sound perfectly normal today were considered gauche and grating on the ear. If the complainers had had their way, we couldn’t say a word like pessimism or use contact as a verb! Also...

Nicknames Give Me the Heebie-Jeebies

Everybody has a nickname, and there’s usually a story to go with it. Martha and Grant reveal their own nicknames and the stories behind them. Also, is the expression “heebie-jeebies” anti-Semitic? And is there a better word than...

English Down Under

This week, Martha and Grant discuss terms from Australia, including aerial ping-pong, pumpkin squatter, and…kangarooster? They explain the connection between stereotypes and stereos, and why we call the person clearing tables in a restaurant a...

trunk manuscript

trunk manuscript  n.— «This was what she lovingly refers to as her “trunk manuscript” where you “get out all the crap and put it under your bed.” The manuscript may not go anywhere, but it’s the exercise of writing it that matters most...

shit the bed

shit the bed  v. phr.— Note: Used in professional wrestling to mean “have stage fright” or “to be unable to go through with a plan.” «A: It is the total package, yes. It is the charisma. It the ability to take the...