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Episode 1519

Keep Your Powder Dry

Jacuzzi and silhouette are eponyms — that is, they derive from the names of people. An Italian immigrant to California invented the bubbly hot tub called a jacuzzi. And the word silhouette commemorates a penny-pinching treasury secretary who lasted...

Versing, Meaning X Versus Y

Kathy from Evansville, Indiana, is bothered when she hears younger people use to verse as a verb, as in “Who are they versing?” and “We versed that team last week.” This term arose out of misunderstanding versus, a...

Episode 1371

On the Shoe Phone

First names like “Patience,” “Hope,” and “Charity” are inspired by worthy qualities. But how about “Be-courteous” or “Hate-evil”? The Puritans sometimes gave children such names hoping that...

Nerd vs. Geek

Books that make great gifts for language-lovers, the difference between a nerd and a geek, and talk about a new term, poutrage, and what do you call the crust in the corners of your eyes after a night’s sleep?

Skee-Ball Slang

Grant shares some slang he’s found while exploring the game of Skee-Ball, including to hit the hundo. This is part of a complete episode.

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