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Episode 1541

Walkie Talkie

One of the most powerful words you’ll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn’t in dictionaries yet. But it probably will be one day. The word is endling, and it means “the last surviving member of a species.” The...

The Meaning of Endling

One of the most powerful and most poignant words you’ll ever hear isn’t in dictionaries yet, although it probably will be eventually. An endling is the last surviving member of a species. The story of its origin is a marvelous one...

Episode 1525

Niblings and Nieflings

How do actors bring Shakespeare’s lines to life so that modern audiences immediately understand the text? One way is to emphasize the names of people and places at certain points. That technique is called billboarding. And: Anyone for an...

Etymology of Hack

Ever heard a school bus called a school hack? Grant and Martha explain the etymology of hack, beginning with hackney horses in England, then referring to the drivers of the horse-drawn carriages, then the carriages themselves, and finally the...

punch mine

punch mine  n.— «The museum is a history lesson of Wheatcroft’s rich coal-mining past.…Clark shows a picture of a stooped miner entering a punch mine.» —“Mining a father’s passion” by Garret Mathews in...