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Really Powdered It!

If a baseball is hit really hard, it’s said that the batter powdered it, used to refer to hitting or pitching that’s especially powerful, as if the ball had been fired from a cannon. Similarly, a pitcher with a blistering fastball is...

Episode 1491

Crusticles and Fenderbergs

A second-generation Filipino-American finds that when he speaks English, his personality is firm, direct, and matter-of-fact. But when he speaks with family members in Tagalog, he feels more soft-spoken, kind, and respectful. Research shows that...

Episode 1452

Pop Stand

When it comes to learning new things, what’s on your bucket list? A retired book editor decided to try to learn Latin, and ended up learning a lot about herself. There’s a word for someone who learns something late in life. And when it...

Pitched Battle vs. Pitch Battle

Is it a pitched battle or a pitch battle? Originally, a pitched battle was conducted according to traditional rules of warfare, which called for combat in a prearranged time and place. The pitch in this term has to do with positioning, in much the...

Regional Term Pitch-In

What would you bring to a pitch-in? An Indiana transplant shares this newly acquired term for a potluck dinner. Martha points out that the Dictionary of American Regional English has a map showing the distribution of the term, and it’s limited...