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Unicycles

A unicycle enthusiast wonders if his unicycle can be properly called a bike. To avoid the four-syllable mouthful, the unicycle community (yes, there is one) sometimes calls it a uni, but for the general public, the term “bike” works...

Zig-Zag and Shilly-Shally

Bavarian Chalet. Mushroom Basket. Moose Point. Who in the heck comes up with the names of paints, anyway? Martha and Grant ponder that mystery. They also explain why those annoying emails go by the name spam. And Grant explains the difference...

Word Encounters of the First Kind

There’s a frisson you get when you meet a word for the first time—feeling pleasantly stumped in between wondering, “What the heck does that mean?” and hurrying off to find out. Martha and Grant talk about some terms that had just...

Etymology of Gringo

Theories about how Latin Americans came to use the term gringo as a disparaging word for foreigners. We can easily rule out the one about the song “Green Grow the Lilacs,” but what about the rest? This is part of a complete episode.

Between vs. Among

Many of us learned the rule about using the preposition between when talking about two items, but among when talking about more than two. In reality, though, the rule is a little more complicated. This is part of a complete episode.

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