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Episode 1504

Up Your Alley

Book recommendations, including a collection of short stories inspired by dictionaries, and a techno-thriller for teens. Or, how about novels with an upbeat message? Publishers call this genre up lit. Plus, a clergyman ponders an arresting phrase in...

Spendthrift Origins

Judy from Tallahassee, Florida, is curious about the word spendthrift, which means someone who spends money freely. The word thrift in this case means wealth, and is the past participle of thrive. A more obvious word that means the same thing:...

What All Men Carry Riddle

A riddle in rhyme: What does a man love more than life /Fear more than death or mortal strife / What the poor have, the rich require /And what contented men desire / What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves/ And all men carry to their graves...

Spendthrift Snollygosters

This week, it’s the language of politics. Martha and Grant discuss two handy terms describing politicians: far center and snollygoster. Also, a presidential word puzzle, false friends, spendthrifts, and a long list of 17th-century insults. So...

Thrifty and Spendthrift

Careful about how you spend your money? Then you’re said to be “thrifty.” So why is someone who isn’t frugal called a spendthrift? This is part of a complete episode.

refi

refi n. a refinancing of a mortgage or loan. Etymological Note: Clipping of refinance. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)