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Coinkydink Coincidence

Sundance from Dallas, Texas, says his family uses the word coinkydink for coincidence. It’s an intentional malapropism, like the playful pronunciation of schedule as skeduly and difficulty as difulgaty. Coinkydink has been around since at...

Why Do Some People Get Bios in Dictionaries?

A listener in Albany, New York, wonders who decides which historical personages deserve mention a dictionary, and how editors decide which of those people merit a photo or illustration? Grant explains the process by which lexicographers handle these...

A Great Book by a Dictionary Editor

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, by Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper, is a must-read for anyone interested in language and how dictionaries are made. This is part of a complete episode.

Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Language enthusiasts, rejoice! Jonathon Green’s extraordinary Green’s Dictionary of Slang is now available online. This is part of a complete episode.

Dictionaries: Print to Online

A Chicago-area listener wonders: When dictionaries go from print to online, are any words removed? What’s the best print dictionary to replace the old one on her dictionary stand? For more about dictionaries and their history, Grant recommends...


If someone’s called a pantywaist, they’re being disparaged as weak or timid. The term refers to a baby garment popular in the early 20th century that snapped at the waist. Some people misunderstand the term as pantywaste, but...

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