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Junk in the Frunk

In an electric car, the trunk is in the front, not the back. Automotive engineers refer to this part of the vehicle as the frunk, a portmanteau of front and trunk. For a while, the Jaguar company, which is based in the UK, instead called it the...

“To Boot” Origins

Maribel in Montgomery, Alabama, asks about why we say to boot to mean in addition. This kind of boot has nothing to do with the kind you wear on your feet. It’s from Old English bot, meaning advantage or remedy, and is a linguistic relative of...

Words With K in Them Are Funny

Pickle, baboon, cupcake, snorkel, pumpkin, Kalamazoo—let’s face it, some words are just plain funny. But what makes some words funnier than others? Martha and Grant consider this question with an assist from Neil Simon’s play (and movie)...

Ping Me

For tech-savvy types, saying “ping me,” meaning “contact me,” is as natural as grabbing a snack while waiting for your computer to boot up. The hosts disagree about whether the verb ping has already moved into common parlance...

fire wagon

fire wagon  n.— «“Fire wagon” is traditionally a term for ice hockey, but it described the next few minutes after NR’s opening goal as the teams traded end-to-end action and close scoring chances.» —“Warriors boot Bulldogs 4...

ninjinuity

ninjinuity  n.—Gloss: A high level of ingenuity. «Over the next few days, we try pinning packages back to the Hardy version and downgrading. There are conflicts all over and lots of ninjinuity is required. Sometimes the system won’t boot...