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Muckle on to Something

Bill in Surrey, New Hampshire, says his father used to tell him to hold tightly to something, such as a rope, by urging him to muckle on to it. He rarely heard the word again until a Scotsman visited his farm and admiringly noted that Bill’s...


Have you ever googled your own name and found someone else who has the very same moniker? There’s a word for that: Googleganger, a play on the word doppelganger, from German words that literally mean “double goer.” This is part of...

Marrow Vegetable

A listener in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, was surprised to learn that in England the word marrow refers to zucchini. This is part of a complete episode.

Motorcycling Slang

Skid lid, cage, and backyard are all slang terms from the world of motorcycle enthusiasts. A skid lid is a helmet, a cage is an automobile, and a backyard is a favorite place to ride. The phrase lay it down means to have a motorcyle accident. This...


A listener in Palmer, Massachusetts, wants a term for when something, such as a piece of art, evokes fondness by combining both old and new things, such as a Monet painting reimagined by a digital artist. How about a combination of the Italian words...

Kwannon and Canon

The Japanese developers of an early camera named it Kwannon, in honor of the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Later, the company changed the name to Canon. This is part of a complete episode.