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Episode 1586

Mittens in Moonlight

Need a slang term that can replace just about any noun? Try chumpie. If you’re from Philadelphia, you may already know this handy placeholder word. And there’s Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, and … The Bronx — why do we add...

More than Four Seasons

Hayley, a poet, grew up in Kansas City, then moved to Minnesota’s Twin Cities. After the last two winters there, she’s begun to wonder: Have English speakers ever referred to more than four seasons in English? Do other cultures measure...

Rambunctious Meaning and Origin

Jerry from Northern Virginia catches himself describing his poodle Pepper as rambunctious, the wonders how that word came to be. Its origin is uncertain, but it’s one of several long, playful coinages from the early 19th century, including...

Episode 1506

Oh, For Cute!

A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots of identical copies. • The link between tiny mythical creatures called trolls and modern-day...

Oh, For Nice!

Jesse in Gainesville, Florida, says that when he was growing up in Northern Minnesota, he often heard the expression “Oh, for…!”, as in “Oh, for cute!”, “Oh, for nice!”, or “Oh, for dumb!: This...