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Episode 1543

Goody Two-Shoes

She sells seashells by the seashore. Who is the she in this tongue twister? Some claim it’s the young Mary Anning, who went on to become a famous 19th-century British paleontologist. Dubious perhaps, but the story of her rise from seaside...

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...

Boondoggles

Your mother gave you life, and you gave her … a boondoggle. Or is it a lanyard? Maybe a gimp? Grant assures a listener there are several terms for that long key fob you made at summer camp out of plastic yarn. Boondoggle seems to have...

X, Y, and Zed

Some teachers are using a controversial tactic to get young students reading: They let their pupils choose which books to read for class. Does it work? Also, should that line at the grocery store checkout read 15 items or less or fewer? And is the...

Words of the Decade

Enough about the Word of the Year. How about the Word of the Decade? Bailout? Google? Martha and Grant discuss some candidates. Also in this episode, does speaking a different language make you feel different emotions? What did Don Draper on Mad Men...

Paddywhacker

A Dallas man says his grandmother used to carry around washcloth a plastic bag in her purse. When he and his siblings would get their hands dirty, she’d say to them, “Show me your paddywackers,” and they’d hold out their...