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Episode 1581

Your Imaginary Boyfriend

We use the term Milky Way for that glowing arc across the sky. But how people picture it varies from culture to culture. In Sweden, that starry band goes by a name that means “Winter Street,” and in Hawaii, a term for the Milky Way...

Sink Room in an Old House

Lola in Madison, Wisconsin, just bought a 1921 house that has a separate room beside the kitchen for a dishwashing sink and cupboards. She and her partner are unsure what to call it. The sink room, maybe? Yes! The name reflects the history of how...

Name for a Surviving Partner

A listener in Reno, Nevada, wants to know: If one member of a long-term, unmarried couple dies, what’s a good term for the surviving partner, considering that the usual terms widow and widower aren’t exactly correct?   This is part...

I Could Use a Drink

Is it incorrect to say “I could use a drink” rather than “I want a drink”? A California man says his Italian partner claims this use of use is incorrect. It may be a verbal crutch, but it’s still correct English. This...

Rebeheaded

A woman in Gainesville, Florida, says her father and his partner have an ongoing Scrabble feud over rebeheaded. Is it a word? This is part of a complete episode.