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Episode 1587

Herd of Turtles

Some college students are using the word loyalty as a synonym for monogamy. Are the meanings of these words now shifting? Plus, a biologist discovers a new species of bat, then names it after a poet he admires. Also, warm memories of how a childhood...

Never Cook Your Cabbage Twice

Diane calls from eastern North Carolina to talk about a phrase her father used if she asked him to repeat something: I never chew my celery twice. He probably conflated the idea of chewing celery with some far more common expressions involving doing...

Cabbaging

The phrase “don’t cabbage that,” meaning “don’t steal that,” may derive from the old practice of tailors’ employees taking scraps of leftover fabric, which, gathered up in one’s hands, could resemble a...

Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-ca-monga!

All aboard! This week, a bit about the musical language of railroad conductors’ calls: “Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-ca-monga!” Also, the origin of the military slang term cumshaw, tips for learning Latin, the influence of Spanish...

How the Cow Ate the Cabbage

The phrase “Let’s talk about how the cow ate the cabbage” means “Let’s talk frankly.” The hosts talk plainly about the naughty tale that may be behind it. This is part of a complete episode.