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Episode 1590

Primary Colors

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures, that are still in use today. Plus, how do speakers of different languages distinguish similar shades and tints of colors such as red, yellow...

Mess and Gaum

Marcus in Kingsport, Tennessee, says that as children, if he and his sister left snacks or crumbs around the kitchen, his mother would say in exasperation that all the kids ever wanted to do was to mess and gaum. The word gaum means “a greasy...

Shambles

What does shambles mean? If your house is in shambles, it’s a mess, but before the 1920s, the word shambles referred to a butcher’s bloody bench. This is part of a complete episode.

Going All-City

On the menu: necessity mess, potato bargain, and other tasty regional foods that won’t break the bank. Plus, what’s a doomaflatchie? And what do you have to do before you rest on your laurels? Grant and Martha share idioms, proverbs, and...

Playful Regional Food Names

Dining on a budget? Just whip up some necessity mess or a potato bargain. That’s a pork, onion, and potato stew popular in Eastern Massachusetts. Or how about some Georgia ice cream? It’s a North Florida term for grits. Martha shares a...

Messing Up Names

A listener from San Diego, California, named Lois has been called Louise, Lori, Lauren, Louisa, and Rosa, to name a few. And of course, the Scott/Todd mix-up phenomenon continues. Do people ever mess up your name? This is part of a complete episode.