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Episode 1474

Noon of Night

As a kid, you may have played that game where you phone someone to say, “Is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it!” What’s the term for that kind of practical joke? Is it a crank call or a prank call? There’s...

Butterflies in Your Stomach

If you’re not using a dictionary to look up puzzling words as you read them, you’re missing out on a whole other level of enjoyment. • When you’re cleaning house, why not clean like there’s literally no tomorrow? The term...

The Greek Root “Stenos”

The word stenophagous means eating a limited variety of food. It derives from Greek stenos, meaning narrow, also found in stenography (literally, narrow writing) and stenosis, a medical term for abnormal narrowing. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1464

Lie Like a Rug

The words we choose can change attitudes — and change lives. A swing-dance instructor has switched to gender-neutral language when teaching couples. He says that using words like “leader” and “follower” actually works better...


The medical term FOOSH is an acronym for a painful injury. It stands for “fell onto (his or her) outstretched hand,” which can lead to a broken wrist. This is part of a complete episode.