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Episode 1580

Beefed It

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by explaining the history of words and phrases. And: have you ever been in a situation where a group makes...

Sophocles’ Friends Word Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski would like you to meet Greek friends’ friends, all of whose names follow the pronunciation pattern of their pals. For example, Sophocles would like you to meet his friend who’s an expert on cephalopods, such as squid...

mowing the lawn

mowing the lawn  n.— «Maritime patrol planes fly a grid pattern over the search area, guided by GPS. They fly in parallel swaths over the ocean, in a process that pilots refer to as “mowing the lawn.” Flying at an altitude of...

wall tattoo

wall tattoo  n.— «Stencils have come a long way from childhood designs. Often referred to as wall tattoos, stencils can be used as borders or create an overall pattern on a wall.» —“A little paint + a lot of patience a new...

pop a crowd

pop a crowd  v. phr.— «“If you go to enough of these shows and meet enough of these guys, a pattern emerges,” Siegel says. “In wrestling parlance, they would say they love “popping a crowd”—getting fans off. It’s...