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Episode 1506

Oh, For Cute!

A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots of identical copies. • The link between tiny mythical creatures called trolls and modern-day...

Episode 1593

Word Hoard

Ever wonder what medieval England looked and sounded like? In Old English, the word hord meant “treasure” and your wordhord was the treasure of words locked up inside you. A delightful new book uses the language of that period to create...

Episode 1584

Sleepy Winks

It was a dark and stormy night. So begins the long and increasingly convoluted prose of Edwards Bulwer-Lytton’s best-known novel. Today the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest asks contestants for fanciful first sentences that are similarly...

Spondulix, Simoleons, and Other Words for Money

Sean from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is an editor who reads lots of fiction from the 1930s, in which he often runs into the words spondulixand simoleons, meaning “a large amount of money.” They’re both Americanisms. Spondulix, also...

Sexless Objects

Our two most recently aired episodes were Going All-City last week and The College Slang Party the week before that. They’re reruns more than six months old — which means you’ve forgotten half of what’s in them, right? Give...