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Episode 1554

Deviled Eggs

Some TV commercials launch catchphrases that stick around long after the original ads. The exclamation Good stuff, Maynard! is still a compliment almost 40 years after it was used in a commercial for Malt-O-Meal hot cereal. And: what do you call...

What are Good Terms for Old People?

Mary in Alexandria, Virginia, wonders when words like senior and senior citizen came to mean “elderly.” Senior comes from Latin senex, “old,” the source also of Senate and senile. In the 1930s, a politician helped popularize...

Hot as Flugens

Squire in Murray, Kentucky, wonders about the expression hot as flugens, meaning “really hot.” The term flugens serves as an emphasizer or making money like flugens or ran like flugens or even cold as blue flugens. In the 1830s, many...

Ye Gods!

Mimi in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, wonders about a phrase her grandmother used to express disbelief or indignation: Good grief and little fishes! Far more common is the phrase Ye gods and little fishes! or simply Ye gods! These expressions all serve as...

Pop Your Clogs, Clever Clogs

Annie in Bend, Oregon, says that while living on a narrowboat in England several years ago, she encountered some intriguing slang: clever clogs, a slightly derogatory term for someone who’s a bit too smart for their own good, and pop your...