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Bring Your Mop for a Whang

The word whang is an old term used in New England, particularly Maine. It’s an annual party where you invite your friends and neighbors to help you with the drudgery of spring cleaning. This is part of a complete episode.

And So Isn’t He

A teacher in Oakley, Vermont, noted a curious construction among his students while teaching in Maine. They would say things like “We’re all going to the party, and so isn’t he” or “I like to play basketball, and so...

Blind Tiger

When you pick up a book of poems, how many do you read in one sitting? Some people devour several in a row, while others savor them much more slowly. Plus, it’s a problem faced by politicians and public speakers: When you have to stand in...

Pipperoo

A swinging song by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra called “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” drops the line “What a gal, a real pipperoo.” A homeschooling family in Maine wonders just what a pipperoo is. For one, the suffix ...

Hark Your Racket

“Hark your racket,” meaning, “shush,” is a variant of “hark your noise,” which pops up in Michigan, Wisconsin and Maine as far back as the 1940’s. This is part of a complete episode.

Noon Balloon to Rangoon

Is there a word you keep having to look up in the dictionary, no matter how many times you’ve looked it up before? Maybe it’s time for a mnemonic device. And: a listener shares a letter from Kurt Vonnegut himself, with some reassuring...