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Baffies—not bathies—is a Scottish term for the slippers you might wear in the morning to and from the shower, cooking breakfast, or doing just about anything during the transition from barefootedness to having real shoes on. This is part of a...

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...

International Pie Charts

Pie charts were invented by the Scottish engineer William Playfair, but the name for these visual representations of data came later. In other countries, this type of graph goes by names for other round foods. In France, a pie chart is sometimes...


If someone is being nibby or nebby, they’re nosy. This Western Pennsylvania term goes back to the old Scottish term nib or neb, meaning nose. This is part of a complete episode.

The Secret in Their I’s

Hi, all! In this week's archive edition, we discuss classic children's books, Faulknerian language, the double meaning of "sanction" and other Janus words, and a newcomer to Texas wants to talk like his neighbors: Summer reruns are...


Who doesn’t love a couthy lad? Grant plugs this Scottish adjective for someone who’s sociable. This is part of a complete episode.