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Episode 1512

Bottled Sunshine

If you catch your blue jeans on a nail, you may find yourself with a winklehawk. This term, adapted into English from Dutch, means “an L-shaped tear in a piece of fabric.” And: What’s your relationship with the books on your...

Spit in Air and Jump Through It

Victoria from Tallahassee, Florida, weighs in on our discussion about terms for an extremely quick bath. When Victoria was young, her great-great grandmother from Poland, when checking if Victoria had indeed washed herself, would ask...

The Last Straw

In this episode, books for word lovers, from a collection of curious words to some fun with Farsi. • Some people yell “Geronimo!” when they jump out of an airplane, but why? • We call something that heats air a heater, so why do we call...

Yelling Geronimo

A man in Surprise, Arizona, wonders why people jumping into a pool sometimes yell “Geronimo!” The history of this exclamation goes back to an eponymous 1939 movie about the famed Apache warrior Geronimo. The film was popular on U.S...

Curse of Knowledge

It’s all about terms of endearment: If your loved one is far away for a long time, you’re probably tired of just saying “I miss you” over and over. For variety’s sake, there are some creative alternatives to that phrase...

Burning Platform

The “burning platform” is a trendy phrase in business at the moment, used for a crisis that demands immediate action. It refers to a guy on an oil rig that caught fire, and he had the choice of staying on the rig and facing certain...

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