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Knowledge Box

Knowledge box is an old slang term for noggin; one 1755  describes someone who “almost cracked his knowledge box.” This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Pessimism

We get lots of calls and emails that take a pessimistic look at the way language changes– which reminded us that the word pessimism itself, just 100 or so years ago, was derided by the curmudgeons of old. People thought the word pessimism was...

Getting Meta with Meta

A listener in Greenville, Tennessee, wonders about how the word meta went from prefix to adjective. Meta is simply a word used to describe something that’s about itself. This is part of a complete episode.


What’s your favorite -ology? Perhaps alethiology, the study of truth, from the Greek alethia? Theologians might concern themselves with naology, the study of holy buildings. This is part of a complete episode.

Half Full of What?

If you see the trash can as half full, does that make you an optimist or a pessimist? Since it’s half full of garbage, as opposed to daisies or puppies, it’s questionable. On the other hand, in the tweeted words of Jill Morris:...

Zombie Word Puzzle

Our Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a zombiefied puzzle called Dead Reckoning. What’s the problem with putting zombies in the legislature? A deadlocked government! This is part of a complete episode.