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Snow Falling Before the Autumn is Through

Miles from Madison, Wisconsin, is musing about whether there’s a single word or phrase for the time of year when it snows while leaves are still on the trees. One jocular term for snow falling on leaves during that liminal period is snowliage...

Snow Job

Lexi from Denver, Colorado, says her grandfather’s parting advice was always don’t let nobody give you a snow job. Where’d he get that saying, and what does it mean, exactly? This is part of a complete episode.

Pank and a Finnish Proverb

Frida in Marquette, Michigan, shares a proverb from her Finnish heritage that translates as “Until the food is ready, feed your guests with words.” She also asks about pank, a term she often hears there in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan...

We What We Call Bumps in the Road

Belly tickler, dipsy doodle, johnny-come-lately, duck and dip, how-do-you-do, tickle bump, yes-ma’am, thank-you-ma’am, kiss-me-quick, and (especially in Canada) cahot all mean “a bump in the road.” Particularly in southwest Pennsylvania...

Snow Corduroy

A ski slope groomer in Stowe, Vermont, says he and his colleagues use vehicles that make corduroy, the packed, parallel, ridged surfaces of snow that are perfect for skiing. Another term for corduroy, or someone who wears it, is whistle britches...

Gee and Haw

The highly specialized vocabulary of people who work outdoors, communicating with sled dogs, a word from the sport of rock-climbing, church key, browse line, smeuse, nitnoy, mommick, zawn, zwer, boom dog, and I think my pig is whistling.