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Origin of Listless

What’s the origin of the term listless? Does it mean you can’t find the piece of paper with the groceries you need? No. Listless shares a root with the English word lust. In its most literal sense, listless means “without...

Sexless Objects

Our two most recently aired episodes were Going All-City last week and The College Slang Party the week before that. They’re reruns more than six months old — which means you’ve forgotten half of what’s in them, right? Give...

Mathematical

If something is mathematical, is it cool? According to a mother of two middle-schoolers, that’s exactly what it’s come to mean among the younger set. Then again, irony is also pretty hip. But could her kids be using a piece of ironic...

The Die is Cast

“The Die is Cast” is the title of an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A listener and his wife disagree about what kind of “die” is meant here. It’s not a reference to metallurgy– it’s a quotation...

Brown Chicken, Brown Cow

Hi! In our latest episode: How do rules of grammar develop, anyway? What's "tarantula juice"? How did "boondoggle" come to mean "a waste of taxpayer money"? Plus, funny movie mistakes, and a new spin on the slang...