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Like Death Eating a Cracker

Digital timepieces may be changing the way we talk, at least a little. There’s Bob o’clock (8:08), Big o’clock (8:19), and even Pi o’clock. Also this week, what do you call that gesture with your fingers when you want to make...

Graveyard Stew

A Charlottesville, Virginia, caller says that when she was a child and recovering from an illness, her mother fed her a kind of milk toast she called graveyard stew. Is that strange name unique to her family? This is part of a complete episode.

Linguistic Myths Surrounding Taphophobia

A Wellesley College student has been reading about the Victorian fear of being buried alive—also known as taphophobia—and the bizarre 19th-century burial practices associated with it. She’s heard that they gave rise to such expressions as dead...


AFPAK  n.— Note: A blend of AFghanistan and PAKistan. «In the two-front war that Washington is now calling “AFPAK,” there’s more head-scratching going on than is immediately visible. Yes, President Barack Obama last week...