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Nosebaggers

If you’re on vacation, watch out for nosebaggers. This mid-19th century slang term refers to tourists who go to resort areas for the day but bring their own provisions and don’t contribute to the local economy. A modern nosebagger might...

The Die is Cast

“The Die is Cast” is the title of an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A listener and his wife disagree about what kind of “die” is meant here. It’s not a reference to metallurgy– it’s a quotation...

Favorite Oxymorons

O heavy lightness! Serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! A listener senses something awfully good about oxymorons, from the Greek for “pointedly foolish.” Grant shares this favorite example from Shakespeare’s Romeo...

Everything is Tickety-Boo

News reports that the makers of Scrabble were changing the rules to allow proper names left some purists fuming. The rumors were false, but they got Grant thinking about idiosyncratic adaptations of the game’s rules. Also this week, the...

Bouncy House

What is the term for that big inflatable play area you see at the park, or in your neighbor’s yard? Is it a bouncy house? A jump? Grant asks listeners what they call this modern pumped-up playpen. This is part of a complete episode.