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Orts and Other Bits of Food

An ort is a small bite of food left on one’s dinner plate. Also known as the manners bit or manners piece, because some people consider it polite for guests to leave that last bite, which suggests that the host provided enough for everyone to...

Waffle Cornflake And Other Family Words

A listener emails to say that her nonagenarian mother adopted a special project during the pandemic. She compiled a lexicon of words and phrases used by their family when the kids were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. The resulting 33-page...

New Yale Book of Quotations

One of our favorite new reference works is The New Yale Book of Quotations (Bookshop|Amazon) edited by Fred Shapiro, associate director for collections and access at the Yale Law Library. This volume is a vastly expanded version of the previous...

Tons of UFO Snot

The documentary The Palindromists includes a scene with author, actor, and devoted palindrome constructor Danica McKellar showing off her favorite reversible creation: Tons of UFO snot. This is part of a complete episode.

Backward Movie Plot Word Game

Quiz Guy John Chaneski imagines what might have happened if some favorite movie plots ended up going in exactly the opposite direction. For example, suppose Cary Grant is chased by good guys and bad guys, but instead of ending up at a national...