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Episode 1603

If Grandma Had Wheels

While compiling the Oxford English Dictionary, lexicographer James Murray exchanged hundreds of letters a week with authors, advisors, and volunteer researchers. A new collection online lets you eavesdrop on discussions about which words should be...

Just the Kind of Hairpin I Am

Kathy from Wichita, Kansas, says her mother was a practical joker who’d laugh off her pranks by saying That’s just the kind of hairpin I am, which means “That’s just the way I am.” The phrase goes back at least to 1874...

Episode 1599

What in Tarnation

Language is always evolving, and that’s also true for American Sign Language. A century ago, the sign for “telephone” was one fist below your mouth and the other at your ear, as if you’re holding an old-fashioned candlestick...

libtard

libtard  n.— «Megrahi is the only person convicted of the 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. In the above photo, we see him preparing a suicide bombing mission while having a good laugh after fooling a flatfooted...

flabby-pack

flabby-pack  n.— «It’s hard not to laugh when Will Ferrell, who can be very funny when given something actually funny to do, takes off his shirt to brandish his flabby-pack, a ritual unveiling now apparently written into all his...