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Variations on Gibberish

Gibberish and its variants aren’t just for goofy teens in the wayback of the station wagon. As Jessica Weiss notes in Schwa Fire, the online magazine about language, people all over the world speak various forms of it. Her article features...

Gobbledygook

What exactly is gobbledygook, and where does the word come from? Texas Congressman Maury Maverick coined the word in 1944 to describe the frustrating jargon used by policymakers in Washington. It reminded him of the sound of turkeys gobbling...

Double Talk

Double-talk, or doublespeak, is a form of gibberish that involves adding ib or other syllables to existing words. This sort of wordplay has been used among criminals using double-talk to communicate on the sly. This is part of a complete episode.

Secret Gibberish

What do pigs have to do with piggyback rides? We get a lesson from a listener in the fine art of speaking gibberish. What’s the correct way to pronounce pecan? The French have the Academie Française, but what authority do we have for the...

Feast on Three New Episodes

Hey, look: there are three brand-new episodes to tell you about! Each includes a few rounds of devious word puzzles cooked up by our quiz guy John Chaneski, as well as: Last weekend, “Secret Gibberish”: piggyback gibberish the...

Maverick and Gobbledygook (minicast)

We hear the word maverick a lot lately, but where did this term for a stubborn nonconformist come from? Martha tells the story of the Texas politician who inspired the word, and whose grandson apparently coined another familiar English word...

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