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Today I Learned (episode #1578)

Youngsters want to know: What’s the difference between barely and nearly, and what’s so clean about a whistle, anyway? Plus, adults recount some misunderstandings from when they were knee-high to a grasshopper. Kids do come up with some...

Ever Heard of “Hoomlabbas”?

Brian in Harvest, Alabama, says his grandfather used to offer him a meat-filled biscuit he called hoomlabbas, supposedly eaten by cowboys in the Old West. Did his grandpa make up the word? This is part of a complete episode.

Stranger: Shall I Play Mother?

One old sense of the word stranger means “a lone tea leaf floating in a cup of tea.” A longtime superstition holds that such a lone leaf means a stranger will soon show up at the door. In Britain, a host may offer to pour a cup of tea...

Losing a Day to the Date Line

After crossing the International Date Line, Alison from Riverside, California, wonders if there’s a word for losing an entire day when traveling between time zones. We suggest déjà noon and groundhogging, and offer a little ditty about time:...