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Episode 1483

Catch You on the Flip Side

Some countries have strict laws about naming babies. New Zealand authorities, for example, denied a request to name some twins Fish and Chips. • Halley’s Comet seen centuries before English astronomer Edmund Halley ever spotted it...

On the Flip Side

A New York City listener wonders about the origin and literal meaning of the phrase catch you on the flip side. It’s a reference to the B side of vinyl records. It was popularized as part of truckers’ CB lingo in the 1970s. This is part...

Hunk Waffle

Decisions by dictionary editors, wacky wordplay, and Walt Whitman’s soaring verse. How do lexicographers decide which historical figures deserve a mention or perhaps even an illustration in the dictionary? The answer changes with the times. •...

Pronunciation of Apricot

A Fort Worth, Texas, listener wonders about the pronunciation of the word apricot. Is that first syllable long or short? The answer depends on what part of the country you’re in. If you’re in the northern United States, for example...

Gradoo or Gradu

A Dallas, Texas, listener wonders if his family made up the term gradoo, meaning “grime” or “schmutz.” It’s definitely more widespread than that and may derive from a French term. This is part of a complete episode.