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Episode 1574

Scooter-Pooting

Old. Elderly. Senior. Why are we so uncomfortable when we talk about reaching a certain point in life? An 82-year-old seeks a more positive term to describe how she feels about her age. And: a linguist helps solve a famous kidnapping case, using the...

Knucklehead

Joan from McKinney, Texas, wonders about the origin of the disparaging term knucklehead. It’s a mild insult, and as with blockhead and bonehead, it suggests that someone’s head is so full of blocks, bones, or knuckles that there’s...

Pronunciation of Measure

Anna, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, wonders if it’s okay to pronounce the word measure as ?meɪʒər (rhyming with “hey sure”) instead of ?mɛʒər (rhyming with “treasure”). This pronunciation is scattered across...

Fred Allen Quotes

The old-time radio performer Fred Allen had some great one-liners, such as Hanging is too good for a man who likes puns; he should be drawn and quoted. He also said I like long walks, especially when taken by someone who annoys me. Among his most...

Another Pangram Entrant

This entry submitted to Wordsmith.org’s pangram contest was timely, but didn’t win: Ariana Grande visited a bakery, licked a doughnut, and made an unpatriotic, jejune exclamation; she was required to apologize thereafter. This is part of...

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