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Episode 1580

Beefed It

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by explaining the history of words and phrases. And: have you ever been in a situation where a group makes...

Nickname Stories

Following our earlier conversation about nicknames, listeners are still responding with stories about their own nicknames. Two of those show how nicknames sometimes arise from a single incident, then stick around for years. In one story, a girl...

An Eke Name, Nickname

The verb to eke, as in to eke out a living or eke out a win, derives from Old English eaca, meaning “addition” or “supplement.” The expression an eke name, or literally “an additional name” was later altered by...

Nicknames Give Me the Heebie-Jeebies

Everybody has a nickname, and there’s usually a story to go with it. Martha and Grant reveal their own nicknames and the stories behind them. Also, is the expression “heebie-jeebies” anti-Semitic? And is there a better word than...

nerd bird

nerd bird  n.— «The “nerd bird” lives on, after all. A week after American Airlines said it would cease the San Jose-Austin daily service that bore that nickname, Alaska Airlines said Monday it will inaugurate daily service...