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Nidorosity

In case you need a word for a really meaty burp — and what nine-year-old doesn’t? — 18th-century lexicographer Samuel Johnson has you covered. In his 1755 dictionary, he defines nidorosity as “eructation with the taste of undigested...

Smell vs. Odor

Todd, a firefighter in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, wonders about the difference between the words smell and odor. Also, which verb is the better choice: orient or orientate? This is part of a complete episode.

Around the Stump Expressions

Ann from Fort Worth, Texas, says her elderly aunt was talking disparagingly about two people who, in her words, wet around the same stump. This expression isn’t all that common, but it does appear in Sarah Bird’s 1999 novel Virgin of the...

Smell the Patching

An Alabama woman says her Minnesota-born husband has never heard an expression she’s used all her life. The phrase is “smell the patching,” as in “If he’s not careful, he’s going to smell the patching.” The...

Clutch and Dank

A listener in Billings, Montana, wonders about two of her boyfriend’s favorite slang terms: clutch and dank. Clutch most likely derives from the world of sports, where a clutch play requires peak performance from an athlete, giving rise to...

Don’t Chew Cabbage Twice

The saying “I don’t chew my cabbage twice,” means I’m not going to repeat myself. The ancient Romans, by the way, ate cabbage as a protection against hangovers, but detested the smell of twice-cooked cabbage. This is part of...

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