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Episode 1586

Mittens in Moonlight

Need a slang term that can replace just about any noun? Try chumpie. If you’re from Philadelphia, you may already know this handy placeholder word. And there’s Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, and … The Bronx — why do we add...

Noisy As A Falling Cookstove

In 1936, Carl Sandburg published The People, Yes (Bookshop|Amazon) a 300-page poem in book form that celebrates the folklore, language, and spirit of his fellow Americans. In one passage, Sandburg vividly describes various kinds of audiences: Some...

Hypnagogic Startle

You’re falling asleep, then suddenly snap awake. There’s a term for that: hypnagogic startle or hypnic jerk. This is part of a complete episode.

heaving

heaving  n.— «The changing temperature of our winters causes garden soil to expand and contract. This process can literally lift a plant out of its planting hole in the garden. This process is known as heaving. Many newly planted...