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Holistic vs. Wholistic

If something pertains to a whole system or body, is it holistic or wholistic? Despite that tempting “w,” holistic is the correct term. It’s an example of folk etymology, the result of looking at the word whole and assuming that...

Earwigs

What is an earwig? Those skinny brown insects with pinchers coming out their backsides have a reputation in folklore for crawling through people’s ears and laying eggs in their skull. But really, earwigs are just simple insects that take their...

Life in the 1500s

If you get an email called “Life in the 1500s,” hit delete! Grant explains that the etymology provided is not entirely accurate. That’s what this show is for. Also, if you’re getting an email that says “Free Money...

Raining Chair Legs

When it’s raining cats and dogs, the Greeks say, “It’s raining chair legs!” Omniglot has many more terms for downpours around the world. This is part of a complete episode.

Once Upon a Time

Are fairy tales too scary for children? A survey of parents in Britain found that more than half wouldn’t read them to their children before age five. Martha and Grant discuss the grisly imagery in fairy tales, and whether they’re too...

Scary Fairy Tales

Are fairy tales too scary for children? A survey of parents in Britain found that more than half wouldn’t read them to their children before age five. Martha and Grant discuss the grisly imagery in fairy tales, and whether they’re too...

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