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Episode 1545

Baby’s Breath

Have you ever googled your own name and found someone else who goes by the very same moniker? There’s a word for that: googleganger. Plus, the language of hobbyists and enthusiasts: If you’re a beekeeper, perhaps you call yourself a...

JoJo Potato Wedges

When Melissa was growing up in Tacoma, Washington, she’d walk to the corner store, where she’d pick up a corn dog and a bag of jo jos, a term for soft potato wedges with the skin left on. Researcher Barry Popik has dug up a story that...

Episode 1528

Gift Horse

The edge of the Grand Canyon. A remote mountaintop. A medieval cathedral. Some places are so mystical you feel like you’re close to another dimension of space and time. There’s a term for such locales: thin places. And: did you ever go...

Tick-Tacking and Other Pranks

Monica says that generations of children in her Augusta, Kentucky, neighborhood would go tick-tacking, or playing pranks during the nights leading up to Halloween — soaping car windows, tossing corn kernels onto front porches, leaving flaming paper...

Little Pitchers Have Big Corn

Our conversation about the reminder that little pitchers have big ears prompted Cheryl to write from Chicago that she and her friends developed punny way to say the same thing. They just warn each other by saying “Corn!” This is part of...

Good as Corn

Why tell someone they’re sexy when you can let them know they’re good as corn? That’s what the Portuguese say, along with “taking his little horse away from the rain,” an idiom that means giving up. This is part of a...