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Episode 1474

Noon of Night

As a kid, you may have played that game where you phone someone to say, “Is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it!” What’s the term for that kind of practical joke? Is it a crank call or a prank call? There’s...

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Salvete! In this week’s archive episode, we revisit the musical language of railroad conductors’ calls, and chat with a Vietnam vet about a term he often heard while serving, “cumshaw artist.” We also talk about the influence...

Premature Evacuation

You’ve kept that old gadget in your garage for years now, but you never use it, so you finally throw it out. The very next day, you discover you need it. Shouldn’t there be a word for needing something you just threw away? Martha reports...

Squeejawed Red-heads and Grockles

In this week’s episode: Just how far back could you go and still understand the English people were speaking? We crank up our trusty time machine to find out. Hint: You’d probably have a tough time getting around in the eighth century...

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