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Raining Pitchforks

What do you call a fierce rainfall? There are lots of vivid terms in this country besides “it’s raining cats and dogs.” Some Americans say “It’s raining pitchforks and hoe handles,” or “raining pitchforks...


A listener reports that when her cat starts whining, she tells it to shut its kibble-hole. If only cats understood wordplay– or English. This is part of a complete episode.

Raining Chair Legs

When it’s raining cats and dogs, the Greeks say, “It’s raining chair legs!” Omniglot has many more terms for downpours around the world. This is part of a complete episode.

The Cat’s Mother

“Who is ‘she’? The cat’s mother?” A Davis, California, man remembers his mother’s indignant use of this expression, and he’s curious about the origin. This is part of a complete episode.

Childhood Language Misunderstandings

There’s a point when children understand just enough of their native language to be confused by homophones and metaphors. What misunderstandings do you remember? Maybe you thought cat burglars stole only cats, or that you might be swept out to...