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Lovely Names for Snow

The 1955 Glossary of Arctic and Subarctic Terms is a collection of scientific and indigenous terminology that’s dated, but often poetic, which describes the features of an extremely cold landscape. Among those terms are diamond dust, also...

Episode 1577

Mystery Date

A librarian opens a book and finds a mysterious invitation scribbled on the back of a business card. Another discovers a child’s letter to the Tooth Fairy, tucked into a book decades ago. What stories are left untold by these forgotten...

Binders Meaning Brakes Origins

Jesse in Newport News, Virginia, is an auto-racing enthusiast who often hears announcers talking about a driver getting on the binders, meaning “to brake” when going into a curve. As early as the 1930s, the term binders has referred to...

Knows Everybody

A 1946 article in the California Folklore Quarterly features a collection of folks sayings from a pioneer family in Western Oregon, including this phrase to describe the one person in town who seems to know everybody’s business: He knew...

Episode 1575

Not My Circus

Throwing cheese and shaky cheese are two very different things. In baseball, hard cheese refers to a powerful fastball, and probably comes from a similar-sounding word in Farsi, Urdu, and Hindi. Shaky cheese, on the other hand, is the grated...

You Paid How Much for What?

In response to our conversation about using the term bedroom suite to denote a collection of furniture, Judith in Glen Rose, Texas, shares a hilarious story about when her Pennsylvania-born beau misunderstood what she meant when she told him she...