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Mary Anning Sells Seashells

She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells she sells are seashells I’m sure, so if she sells seashells on the seashore, then I’m sure she sells seashore shells. Some claim that this tongue twister is about the early life of 19th...

Texan Expression “Do What?”

In place of pardon or excuse me, it’s common to hear a Texan or a Southerner say, “Do what?” Variations include “What now?”, “Do how?”, and “Do which?” This is part of a complete episode.

Little Drink Pitchers

When you hear that little pitchers have big ears, do you think of a lemonade pitcher or a baseball pitcher? In The Wisdom of Many: Essays On The Proverb, Wolfgang Mieder points out that a lot of people think it refers to a Little League pitcher with...

kettle

kettle  v.—Gloss: To surround and contain protesters. Note: Also a noun. «When you’ve been kettled once, there’s no excuse for failing to notice police lines forming around you the next time you’re on a demo – and moving before...

Antipodes and Grooks (minicast)

A listener in Brazil challenges Martha’s pronunciation of the odd English word antipodes. Their email exchange leads Martha to muse about a favorite collection of poems, where she first encountered this word.