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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...

Like the End of Pea Time

Jackie from Cincinnati, Ohio, wonders about the idiom they look like the end of pea time, referring to someone who appeared disheveled or unkempt. The end of pea time, or the last of pea time, refers to the literal end of pea-growing season, when...

Episode 1568

Lasagna Hog

Understanding the varieties of conversational styles can mean the difference between feeling you’re understood and being insulted. “High-involvement” speakers interrupt or talk along with someone else to signal their enthusiasm...

Pine Shatters

Chris calls from Nassawadox, Virginia, to say that on their second date his girlfriend used the term pine shadows for what he calls pine needles. Particularly in Virginia, the terms pine shadows and pine shatters denote those long thin leaves that...

Burning the Coconuts

The Spanish word for “sunroof,” that opening in the top of a car, is quemacocos, which has a picturesque origin. Coco is a slang term for “head,” from the resemblance between that body part and a coconut. And the Spanish word...

Cutting Cots

Following up on our earlier conversation about the correct pronunciation of apricot, a listener who grew up among the apricot orchards of California’s Santa Clara Valley says the locals there pronounce it simply cot, and would speak of getting...