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Episode 1572

By a Long Shot

Imagine telling someone how to get to your home, but without using the name of your street, or any other street within ten miles. Could you do it? We take street names for granted, but these words are useful for far more, like applying for a job or...

Heavier than a Dead Minister

Chelsea in Binghamton, New York, wonders about the phrase heavier than a dead minister, describing something ponderous. Sometimes it’s given as heavier than a dead preacher or priest. This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Aptronyms

There’s the late CNN broadcaster William Headline, the preacher named James God, and the physician named Dr. Hurt. Names like these that match the person’s profession are called aptronyms or aptonyms. We talk about the man who coined the...

gangloading

gangloading  n.— «Yesterday I joined 14 students in the altitude training chamber at the Eighty-ninth Physiological Training Flight at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. Wearing helmets and oxygen masks that covered...