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Scat, Tom!

“Scat, Tom! Get your tail out of the gravy!” In some parts of the country, especially the South, people say this after someone sneezes. But what does a cat warming its tail in the gravy boat have to do with sneezing? This is part of a...

Cat Butter

What do you call the crust that forms in the corners of your eyes when you sleep? Sleepy dust, sleepy sand, eyejam, eye boogers, eye potatoes, sleep sugar, eye crusties, sleepyjacks. An Indiana man wonders if anyone else uses his family’s term...

Suffonsified

A caller from Princeton, Texas, remembers that after a satisfying meal, her late father used to push back from the table and say, “I am sufficiently suffonsified. Anything more would be purely obnoxious to my taste. No thank you.” What...

Language Influencing Emotions

Does speaking a particular language make you feel certain emotions? The hosts talk about a blog post by evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson musing about whether this might be true. This is part of a complete episode.

Fomite

Here’s a handy word: fomite. It means “an inanimate object that can transmit an infectious agent” like a doorknob handle or a comb infested with head lice. It also has a picturesque Latin origin. Martha explains, and shares a...