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Episode 1534

Skookum

So you’ve long dreamed of writing fiction, but don’t know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes, local writing groups, and books with prompts to get you going. The key is to get started, and...

Nothing to Say

Like the boy when the calf ran over him, “I had nothing to say,” is an old saying describing someone who’s speechless, and goes back to the mid-19th century. This is part of a complete episode.

Etymology of Cobwebs

Cobwebs are the same thing as spiderwebs, and they get their name from the old English term coppe, meaning “spider,” which turns up in The Hobbit in a poem about an attercop. This is part of a complete episode.

Raining Pitchforks

What do you call a fierce rainfall? There are lots of vivid terms in this country besides “it’s raining cats and dogs.” Some Americans say “It’s raining pitchforks and hoe handles,” or “raining pitchforks...