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Names for Lightning Bugs and Fireflies

Fireflies have lots of different names in English, including lightning bug, lighter fly, glowworm, and third-shift mosquito. These insects have similarly poetic names in other languages. In Brazil, it’s a vagalume or wandering light, and the...

Bookmash

Go to your nightstand, stack your books with the spines facing out, and what do you get? It’s a bookmash. This new kind of found poetry popped up on Stan Carey’s blog Sentence First, with this collection of titles: Don’t Sleep...

Roly-Poly Isopods

Did you know roly-polies, or pill bugs, aren’t even bugs? They’re isopods, meaning they have equal feet, and they’re technically crustaceans. This is part of a complete episode.

Roly Polies, Sow Bugs, Wood Lice, or What?

What do you call those little gray bugs that roll up into a ball? They go by lots of names: roly poly bugs, potato bugs, sow bugs, chiggypigs, dillo seeds, basketball bugs, bowling-ball bugs, and wood lice, to name a few. This is part of a complete...

snipe

snipe  n.— «Networks are also experimenting with something called snipes. Similar to ABC’s icons, snipes are visual effects that take place in the lower right hand corner of the screen during a show. Shows on TNT, for example, may include...