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Episode 1561

Mudlarking

Twice a day the River Thames recedes, revealing a muddy shoreline. Hobbyists known as mudlarks stroll the surface searching for objects that have found their way into the river over the centuries, everything from ancient Roman jewelry to modern...

A Malaprop Brain Pleaser

A malaprop is a word or phrase used mistakenly for a similar-sounding word or phrase, often to amusing effect. Quiz Guy John Chaneski offers a puzzle in honor of the late comedian Norm Crosby, a.k.a. “Mr. Malaprop,” who once noted that...

Play it By Ear or Year?

Jack in Spokane, Washington, wonders which phrase is correct when talking about improvising: play it by ear or play it by year? Although play it by ear is the original version and by far the most common one, play it by year sounds plausible enough...

Coinkydink Coincidence

Sundance from Dallas, Texas, says his family uses the word coinkydink for coincidence. It’s an intentional malapropism, like the playful pronunciation of schedule as skeduly and difficulty as difulgaty. Coinkydink has been around since at...

Pantywaist

If someone’s called a pantywaist, they’re being disparaged as weak or timid. The term refers to a baby garment popular in the early 20th century that snapped at the waist. Some people misunderstand the term as pantywaste, but...