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Episode 1561

Mudlarking

Twice a day the River Thames recedes, revealing a muddy shoreline. Hobbyists known as mudlarks stroll the surface searching for objects that have found their way into the river over the centuries, everything from ancient Roman jewelry to modern...

A Malaprop Brain Pleaser

A malaprop is a word or phrase used mistakenly for a similar-sounding word or phrase, often to amusing effect. Quiz Guy John Chaneski offers a puzzle in honor of the late comedian Norm Crosby, a.k.a. “Mr. Malaprop,” who once noted that...

Coinkydink Coincidence

Sundance from Dallas, Texas, says his family uses the word coinkydink for coincidence. It’s an intentional malapropism, like the playful pronunciation of schedule as skeduly and difficulty as difulgaty. Coinkydink has been around since at...

Whistle in the Dark

The language and melodies of military marching songs connect grown children with their parents who served, as do parents’ love letters from World War II. Plus, “running a sandy” describes an awkward love triangle and Northern Spy...

Spur of the Moment

A caller with a 25-year-old parrot wonders: How much language do birds really understand? Plus, Knock-knock. Who’s there? Boo. Well… you can guess the rest. But there was a time when these goofy jokes were a brand-new craze sweeping the nation...

When Knock-Knock Jokes Were New

In 1936, newspapers across the United States breathlessly reported on a new craze sweeping the nation: knock-knock jokes — and they were at least as corny as today’s version. This is part of a complete episode.