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Episode 1527

Had the Radish

Your first name is very personal, but what if you don’t like it? For some people, changing their name works out great but for others it may create more problems than it solves. And: at least three towns in the U.S. were christened with names...

What Cheer

How did the town of What Cheer, Iowa, get its name? The word cheer was long used to indicate an emotional state of any kind, so asking someone What cheer? was another way to say “How are you?” The greeting What cheer, netop? Is closely...

Squinnines and Grinnies

A woman who has spent most of her life in Des Moines, Iowa, says she’s always used the word squinny for chipmunk, but doesn’t hear it outside of her hometown. The term is definitely specific to Iowa, but an even more common word for the...

The First First Annual

Can a first-time event ever be called “The First Annual” Such-and-Such? Members of a Cedar Rapids group planning a social mixer disagree. This is part of a complete episode.

Almost Up to Possible

We recommend books that make great gifts for language lovers, talk about footwear called go-aheads, and look further into going commando. Also, was the 2008 election a historic event or an historic event?

That Skirt is Almost up to Possible

The story goes that hemlines rise and fall with the stock market. If that’s the case, then we hope it’s not long before we’re all hearing people exclaim, “Why, that skirt is almost up to possible!” An Iowa listener...