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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...

Origin of Jump Steady

To “jump steady” refers to either knocking back booze or knocking boots (or, if you’re really talented, both). It’s an idiom made popular by blues singers like Lucille Bogan. This is part of a complete episode.

Jumping in Triangles

The German idiom, “Ich bin fast im Dreieck gesprungen!” is a way of indicating that you’re outraged. Literally, though, it means “I almost jumped in triangles.” This is part of a complete episode.