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Episode 1565

Lead On, Macduff!

For rock climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, the word send has taken on a whole new meaning. You might cheer on a fellow snowboarder with Send it, bro! — and being sendy is a really great thing. Plus: a nostalgic trip to Willa...

Cut Me a Huss

Manuel in Fort Worth, Texas, wonders about a phrase he’s heard from his dad and brothers: Cut me a husk meaning “Give me a break.” The term evolved from slang used by U.S. Marines serving in Vietnam, and HUS, the configuration for...

Minip, Primip, Nullip

Obstetricians use the term multip as shorthand for multiparous, the adjective describing a woman who has given birth to more than one child. A woman who is nulliparous has not given birth at all, and a primipara has given birth only once. This is...

Whistle Britches

Writers and where they do their best creative work. A new book on Geoffrey Chaucer describes the dark, cramped, smelly room where he wrote his early work. Which raises the question: What kind of space do you need to produce your best writing...

The Language of Less Than Three

Whoever wrote “The Book of Love” neglected to include the handy emoticon <3, which looks like a heart if you turn your head sideways. Grant and Martha talk about how that bit of affectionate shorthand can function as a verb, and about...

Kiss Emoticon

Whoever wrote “The Book of Love” neglected to include the handy emoticon <3, which looks like a heart if you turn your head sideways. Grant and Martha talk about how that bit of affectionate shorthand can function as a verb, and about...