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Episode 1587

Herd of Turtles

Some college students are using the word loyalty as a synonym for monogamy. Are the meanings of these words now shifting? Plus, a biologist discovers a new species of bat, then names it after a poet he admires. Also, warm memories of how a childhood...

Never Cook Your Cabbage Twice

Diane calls from eastern North Carolina to talk about a phrase her father used if she asked him to repeat something: I never chew my celery twice. He probably conflated the idea of chewing celery with some far more common expressions involving doing...

We Cook Off Our Potatoes (minicast)

If a restaurant menu states, “We cook off our potatoes,” what in the heck does that mean? A truck driver who encountered such an announcement at a roadside cafe is still puzzling over what it means to “cook off” a tuber. He...

scab

scab  n.— «Cook also said in some areas, notably on Warren and Fifth streets, when companies would need to replace bricks, they would take the brick out and pour in concrete, making what is known as a scab.» —“What are your streets...

sticks and bricks

sticks and bricks  n.pl.— «They were not among those who plunged into legal battle with the diocese over “sticks and bricks,” as they call it. “If we are going to live and die for this property,” Cook said...

dirty kitchen

dirty kitchen  n.— «Dirty kitchen (cont.): Actually, that’s the term for a secondary kitchen, often used by Filipinos. As one reader explained to me: “We Filipinos have a small cooking area outside the house where we fry our fish...