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Episode 1586

Mittens in Moonlight

Need a slang term that can replace just about any noun? Try chumpie. If you’re from Philadelphia, you may already know this handy placeholder word. And there’s Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, and … The Bronx — why do we add...

Noisy As A Falling Cookstove

In 1936, Carl Sandburg published The People, Yes (Bookshop|Amazon) a 300-page poem in book form that celebrates the folklore, language, and spirit of his fellow Americans. In one passage, Sandburg vividly describes various kinds of audiences: Some...

Little End of Nothing

Carl Sandburg once observed, “The woman who’ll kiss and tell is small as the little end of nothing.” He meant she lacked character, although the phrase the little end of nothing and variations of have long been used to mean...