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17th Century Insults

The hosts and a listener in Grand Rapids, Michigan, trade some 17th-century insults. For more, check out these references: Gargantua and English Words With Native Roots And With Greek, Latin, Or Romance Suffixes by George Albert Nicholson. This is...

Novel Novels Word Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a word puzzle called “Novel Novels,” in which he gives clues to the names of novels similar to familiar ones, except for one letter. Try this one: “This offbeat novel is based on an incident concerning a...

Happy Palindrome Day

Happy Palindrome Day--or, if you prefer, "011110 Day"--from your friends at "A Way with Words"! Lots to report from Language Land: First, there are a number of recent full-length episodes you may not have...

Bran New vs. Brand New

In L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow gets what he calls a bran-new brain. A caller wonders: Is the correct term bran-new or brand-new? This is part of a complete episode.

College Slang Collection

Grant and Martha discuss a new collection of college slang compiled by UCLA linguistics professor Pamela Munro. Learn more about it and order a copy here. This is part of a complete episode.

Up To Possible

In an earlier episode, the hosts heard from a woman who, as a teenager, was scolded by her grandmother for wearing a skirt that Granny said was almost up to possible. The woman wondered about that phrase’s meaning and origin. Grant shares...