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Not Today, Josephine

A North Carolina listener says that when he was a boy and asked for something at a store that his father didn’t want to buy, his dad would reply Not today, Josephine. The origins of this phrase are unclear, although there is a story that it...

Episode 1550

Queen Bee

An artist asks strangers to write haiku about the pandemic and gets back poetic, poignant glimpses of life under lockdown. Plus, the new book Queenspotting features the colorful language of beekeeping! Bees tell each other about a good source of...

Dry Up and Bust

A North Carolina listener wonders about her mother’s comment in response to complaining or pestering: Go dry up and bust! Since the mid-1800s, the slang phrase Dry up! has meant Stop talking! In the theater world, the term dry up can mean to...