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Episode 1519

Keep Your Powder Dry

Jacuzzi and silhouette are eponyms — that is, they derive from the names of people. An Italian immigrant to California invented the bubbly hot tub called a jacuzzi. And the word silhouette commemorates a penny-pinching treasury secretary who lasted...

Jacuzzi Word Origin

The jacuzzi hot tub takes its name from an Italian family that emigrated to California in the early 20th century, and was credited with several inventions, including the bubbling spa. This is part of a complete episode.

Losing a Day to the Date Line

After crossing the International Date Line, Alison from Riverside, California, wonders if there’s a word for losing an entire day when traveling between time zones. We suggest déjà noon and groundhogging, and offer a little ditty about time:...

Chopped Liver

There’s a proverb that goes “beloved children have many names.” At least, that’s true when it comes to the names we give our pets. “Fluffy” becomes “Fluffers” becomes “FluffFace” becomes...

Governor Moonbeam

Why is California governor Jerry Brown sometimes called Governor Moonbeam? This ethereal moniker was bestowed by the great Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko to suggest a kind of hippie-dippie, insubstatntial, lack of practicality. This is part...