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Avocado vs. Alvocado

A woman in Puyallup, Washington, disagrees with her husband about the pronunciation of avocado. She pronounces it as if it were spelled alvocado, with an L, but the standard pronunciation is ah-voh-KAH-doh. A small minority of English speakers...

Lick the Cat Over

Debra in Gates, North Carolina, says that her husband tries to do things right the first time because, as he puts it, he doesn’t like licking the cat over. To have to lick the cat over is to have to repeat a laborious process for a second time...

Guess What

English is full of unusual terms, both old (eleemosynary, favonian) and new (flyaway, catio). Also, the Swahili term that means “sleep like a log,” the multiple meanings of the word joint, cowpies and horse biscuits, what it means to...

Subscribing to an Idea

Is subscribing just for magazines and podcasts, or can you subscribe to an idea? A husband and wife disagree over whether the latter is grammatically correct. This is part of a complete episode.

sorry gift

sorry gift  n.— «Because guilt over spending is playing a big role in the sales downturn, he teaches salespeople to suggest a “sorry gift”—of another timepiece—for a wife who might be disappointed that her husband just dropped a sizable...

Nicknames Give Me the Heebie-Jeebies

Everybody has a nickname, and there’s usually a story to go with it. Martha and Grant reveal their own nicknames and the stories behind them. Also, is the expression “heebie-jeebies” anti-Semitic? And is there a better word than...