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Sky Hag

The slang term sky hag was originally a negative appellation for an older flight attendant. But it’s now being reclaimed by longtime airline employees as a positive self-descriptor. This is part of a complete episode.

Bricks in the Sky

A listener in Ellsworth, Michigan, shares a favorite simile from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t. This is part of a complete episode.

More Old Similes

Some of the more successful similes in Grenville Kleiser’s 1910 book Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases include the sky was like a peach and like footsteps on wool and quaking and quivering like a short-haired puppy after a ducking. This is part...

The Thing Is, Is

Many public speakers, including President Obama, have developed a reputation for using the reduplicative copula. You know, that thing where he says, “the thing of it is, is…” In wonky speak, this is what happens when a cleft...

Names for Tourists

What do you call tourists in your hometown? In New England, they have leaf-peepers. In Wisconsin, it’s berry-pickers or shackers, as in “people who rent cottages.” Coastal areas have pukers, a reference to people who charter boats...