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Episode 1584

Sleepy Winks

It was a dark and stormy night. So begins the long and increasingly convoluted prose of Edwards Bulwer-Lytton’s best-known novel. Today the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest asks contestants for fanciful first sentences that are similarly...

Episode 1387

How America Talks

For language lovers, it’s like New Year’s, Fourth of July, and the Super Bowl all rolled into one: The brand-new online edition of the Dictionary of American Regional English. Martha and Grant explain what all the fuss is about. Plus...

Rabbit, Rabbit and Tibbar, Tibbar

Among some speakers of English, saying rabbit, rabbit before saying anything else on the first morning of the first day of the month supposedly ensures good luck for the next four weeks. Other versions of this superstition include saying white...

“High” School Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski says he’s been visiting some “niche” high schools, all of which have the word “High” in them, maybe in reverse of a standard phrase. How about this one: “The school where they study...

Dust Bunnies and Ghost Turds

Feeling fankled? It’s a Scots English word that means “messed up” or “confused.” In this week’s episode, Grant and Martha also discuss a whole litter of synonyms for dust bunny, a slew of different terms for the...