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Episode 1528

Gift Horse

The edge of the Grand Canyon. A remote mountaintop. A medieval cathedral. Some places are so mystical you feel like you’re close to another dimension of space and time. There’s a term for such locales: thin places. And: did you ever go...

Episode 1525

Niblings and Nieflings

How do actors bring Shakespeare’s lines to life so that modern audiences immediately understand the text? One way is to emphasize the names of people and places at certain points. That technique is called billboarding. And: Anyone for an...

Episode 1564

Tribble Trouble

In Cockney rhyming slang, apples and pears is a synonym for “stairs,” and dustbin lids means kids. Plus, sniglets are clever coinages for things we don’t already have words for. Any guesses what incogsneeto means? It’s the...

Episode 1561

Mudlarking

Twice a day the River Thames recedes, revealing a muddy shoreline. Hobbyists known as mudlarks stroll the surface searching for objects that have found their way into the river over the centuries, everything from ancient Roman jewelry to modern...

A Delicious Pangram

We talked about pangrams in an earlier episode, which prompted a delicious one from Laura in Colt’s Neck, New Jersey: I quickly mixed up a dozen jelly donuts for the big variety show.

This is part of a complete episode.

Pandemic Pangram

In response to our conversation about pangrams, those sentences that use every letter of the alphabet at least once, Sarah McCall sent us this advice: Just mask up and be extra careful that you don’t quit always sanitizing everything. This is...

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