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Psammakosioi

From ancient Greece comes this example of an indefinite hyperbolic numeral such as umpteen, zillion, and fifty-eleven: psammakosioi. Aristophanes coined this term, which was picked up by other ancient writers, and literally means “sand...

Rapscallion

Peter from Easton, Pennsylvania, thought he coined the word rapscallion meaning “rascal.” But he found out it’s been around since at least the 17th century. It ultimately derives from rascal, which was later modified to rascallion...

Impfneid, Vaccination Envy

The handy German neologism Impfneid literally means “vaccine envy.” It’s one of many German words coined during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neid in German means “envy” and Impf, meaning “vaccine,” derives from...

Professional Puccalo

Megan in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a singer, guitarist, and professional whistler. There’s a word for the last of these: puccalo, apparently coined by whistler Ron McCroby. Megan ends the episode with a sibilant sample of “La Vie en Rose...