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Sesquipedalian Language

A veteran broadcaster recalls a brilliant example of sesquipedalian language. Fifty years ago, he stubbed his foot on the beach and a group of college boys told him to go to his parents and get an anatomical juxtaposition of the orbicular ors...


“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This and other phrases of wisdom are known as antimetabole, from the Greek for “turning about in the opposite direction.” Certain forms of these statements also go by the name...

Eskimo Kisses

After a San Diego man used the term Eskimo kiss with his preschooler, they both wondered about its origin. This is part of a complete episode.

The Language of Less Than Three

Whoever wrote “The Book of Love” neglected to include the handy emoticon <3, which looks like a heart if you turn your head sideways. Grant and Martha talk about how that bit of affectionate shorthand can function as a verb, and about...


What do you call a party that new parents throw to introduce a baby to family and friends? Kiss-and-cry? Try sip-and-see. This is part of a complete episode.

One Last Kiss

Mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah… MmmmmWAH! Martha shares the German verb that means to plant one last kiss in a series of them. This is part of a complete episode.