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Episode 1564

Tribble Trouble

In Cockney rhyming slang, apples and pears is a synonym for “stairs,” and dustbin lids means kids. Plus, sniglets are clever coinages for things we don’t already have words for. Any guesses what incogsneeto means? It’s the...

Gunnysack Origin

Elsie from Fredericksburg, Texas, wonders if a gunnysack and a burlap bag are the same thing. Both are made from coarse fabric, but the word gunnysack is actually redundant, because the gunny goes back to a Sanskrit word that means “sack...

Episode 1477

Flop Sweat

Gerrymandering draws political boundaries to tip elections towards certain political parties. Originally, the word was pronounced “GARY-mandering” with a hard “g.” But why? And why did it change? • Mark Twain and Helen Keller...

Poke Fish Dish

Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner has written about the popular fish dish called poke, which takes its name from a Hawaiian word that means “to cut crosswise.” Many other foods take their names for the way...