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Episode 1585

Diamond Dust

Diamond dust, tapioca snow, and sugar icebergs — a 1955 glossary of arctic and subarctic terms describes the environment in ways that sound poetic. And a mom says her son is dating someone who’s non-binary. She supports their relationship, but...

Squeaky Clean Origin

Judy in Miami, Florida, wonders how the expression squeaky clean came to mean spotless, whether literally or metaphorically. At least as early as the 1930s, the squeaky clean referred to hair that was so free of oil and dirt it makes a squeaking...

Caster Sugar

Eben, a chef in Lummi Bay, Washington, who blogs about food at UrbanMonique, is curious about the term caster sugar, which denotes sugar less fine than powdered sugar, but less coarse than the regular table variety. The name caster sugar derives...

see-through building

see-through building  n.— «In Houston, where the oil bust of the mid-1980s led to see-through buildings devoid of tenants, brokers are wary of space proliferating in the “energy corridor,” running along Interstate 10 from...

jobber

jobber  n.—Gloss: A wholesaler. «Within the next few years, the trio hopes to sign up 90 oil distributors (also known as jobbers) to form a group of as many as 2,000 C-stores east of the Mississippi selling private-branded Liberty gasoline...