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1551 Episode

Cherry Bombs

An ornithologist says there’s a growing movement to change the name of a pink-footed bird currently called the flesh-footed shearwater. The movement reflects a growing understanding that using flesh-colored for “pink” fails to...

“Logy” Meaning and Origins

James is from southwest Michigan, which was heavily settled by the Dutch. He grew up using the adjective logy, meaning “lethargic,” and was surprised to learn that friends from elsewhere didn’t know the word. He wonders if he knows...

1386 Episode

Thrown For A Loop

We all lead busy lives—so are speed reading courses a good idea? Plus, if you hear someone speaking with a British accent, do you tend to assume they’re somehow more intelligent? And some common English surnames tell us stories about life in...

The First Dirty Word

How did the first person to say a dirty word know it was a dirty word? Geoffrey Hughes’ Encyclopedia of Swearing is a great source on this. This is part of a complete episode.