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Episode 1625

Strong Coffee

During the late 19th and early 20th century, thousands of volunteers helped crowdsource the Oxford English Dictionary. This venerable reference work includes citations sent in by inventors, eccentrics, scientists and educators, an Arctic explorer —...

Episode 1591

Pushing the Envelope

Sure, there’s winter, spring, summer, and fall. But the seasons in between have even more poetic names. In Alaska, greenup describes a sudden, dramatic burst of green after a long, dark winter. And there are many, many terms for a cold snap...

Episode 1585

Diamond Dust

Diamond dust, tapioca snow, and sugar icebergs — a 1955 glossary of arctic and subarctic terms describes the environment in ways that sound poetic. And a mom says her son is dating someone who’s non-binary. She supports their relationship, but...

Episode 1571

When Pigs Fly

Don’t move my cheese! It’s a phrase middle managers use to talk about adapting to change in the workplace. Plus, the origin story of the name William, and why it’s Guillermo in Spanish. And a five-year-old poses a question that...

With Bells On

Ryan in Ketchikan, Alaska, reports that a couple of friends told him they’d attend his new gallery exhibition with bells, meaning they would be there “with great enthusiasm.” The far more common phrase is to be there with bells on...

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