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Everything is Tickety-Boo

News reports that the makers of Scrabble were changing the rules to allow proper names left some purists fuming. The rumors were false, but they got Grant thinking about idiosyncratic adaptations of the game’s rules. Also this week, the...

Qi, Qat, and Za: Great Scrabble Words

Need a good Scrabble word? Grant shares some of his favorites. Also, why do we call those classic screwball films madcap comedies? And what does it mean to walk in a crocodile? Plus mondegreens, naval slang, learned vs learnt, and “No way...

Learned vs. Learnt

Are we tested on what we’ve learned, or what we’ve learnt? Grant explains how efforts to replace the “t” verb ending with “ed” gradually took hold in the United States, but not in Britain. Affiliated nations, such...

Hooch

An Indianapolis listener says her family often refers to strong liquor as hooch, and wonders where that term comes from. The hosts trace the term’s path from an Indian village in Alaska. This is part of a complete episode.

Souped Up and Sizzling (full episode)

Like mushrooms in fallen leaves, new words keep popping up overnight. Also, is there an English word that means “the in-laws of your son or daughter“? And what does it mean when someone says, “Well, that was odder than Dick’s...

commod bod

commod bod  n.— «She also blamed the federal commodity program for low-income people that many American Indian families receive. The offerings include lots of pastas, rice and other high-carbohydrate foods that contribute to what Burger...

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