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Episode 1576

Sour Pickle

You know that Yogi Berra quote about how Nobody ever comes here; it’s too crowded? Actually, the first person to use this was actress Suzanne Ridgeway, who appeared in several movies with The Three Stooges. A new book shows that many well...

Folk Expressions for Ailments

A physician in Onancock, Virginia, shares some expressions he’s picked up from his patients, such as Old Arthur, as in Old Arthur’s in town — a reference to suffering from arthritis. Patients have also described feeling discouraged or...

Strong Work, Medical Jargon

Tom, a medical student in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says surgeons and emergency medical personnel compliment each other with the phrase strong work on that. The congratulatory expression strong work seems largely confined to medicine, though. Another...

Brollies and Bumbershoots

If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States! In Britain, it’s prolly a brolly. • Also: snow-grooming language, more than one way to say bagel...

Waterworks, US vs. UK

In The Prodigal Tongue, linguist Lynne Murphy recounts the story of a friend from the US who was confused when her physician inquired about her waterworks. In Britain, that’s a slang term for urinary tract, whereas in the US, it’s a...