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In an earlier episode, Dennis from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, was having trouble recalling a word that denotes the interval between the end of an event or of someone’s life and the death of the last person that has a meaningful memory of it...

Fossil Poetry

The writer Richard Trench has a lovely quote that echoes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous lines about language as fossil poetry: “Language is the amber in which a thousand precious thoughts have been safely embedded and preserved.”...

Episode 1403

Month of Sundays

If you’re on tenterhooks, it means you’re in a state of anxious anticipation or suspense. But what IS a tenterhook? The answer goes back to a 15th-century manufacturing process. Also, you probably have a term for those crumbs that...


Few actions have as many slang euphemisms as vomiting. The sound itself is so distinct that it’s inspired such onomatopoetic terms as ralphing, talking to Ralph on the big white phone or calling Earl. This is part of a complete episode.