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Salting the Earth vs. Salt of the Earth

The phrase salt of the earth describes someone who is essential and pure of heart, a reference to the biblical Sermon on the Mount. To salt the earth usually means to render the ground useless, whether metaphorically or literally. This is part of a...

Doctor Good Wind

A cool wind or a wind that brings good health is sometimes called a doctor, such as the Fremantle Doctor of Western Australia. A barber wind is a harsh wind so cold and wet it can freeze a person’s hair and beard. This is part of a complete...

Floogling

An Omaha, Nebraska, listener has a word for using Google Earth to fly around the planet virtually and zoom in on far-flung locations: floogling, a combination of flying and Googling. This is part of a complete episode.

Overview Effect

Overview effect refers to the cognitive shift in awareness and sense of awe experienced by astronauts who observe Earth from space. The term also inspired the title of Benjamin Grant’s new book, Overview: A New Perspective of Earth, a...

By And Large

The idiom by and large, an idiom commonly known to mean “in general,” actually combines two sailing terms. To sail by means you’re sailing into the wind. To sail large, means that you have the wind more or less at your back...

Bookmash

Go to your nightstand, stack your books with the spines facing out, and what do you get? It’s a bookmash. This new kind of found poetry popped up on Stan Carey’s blog Sentence First, with this collection of titles: Don’t Sleep...