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Slake Your Thirst

To slake your thirst is to quench your thirst. But some people have been switching it to slate your thirst or other variants. It’s a classic case of an eggcorn, or one of those words that people mishear, and then start pronouncing incorrectly;...

A Roberta of Flax

We have collective nouns for animals, like “a gaggle of geese,” “a pride of lions,” and “an exaltation of larks.” So why not collective nouns for plants? How about a “greasing of palms,” or a...

Qi, Qat, and Za: Great Scrabble Words

Need a good Scrabble word? Grant shares some of his favorites. Also, why do we call those classic screwball films madcap comedies? And what does it mean to walk in a crocodile? Plus mondegreens, naval slang, learned vs learnt, and “No way...

Mondegreens

A listener was confused when she heard a radio announcer say a man had “Amanda Lynn” in his hands, only to find out that it was “a mandolin.” These funny misheard phrases are called mondegreens, a term coined in Sylvia...

Favorite Spoonerisms

Reverend William Archibald Spooner was known for transposing sounds, like raising a glass “to our queer old dean” instead of “to our dear old queen.” A caller shares some favorite spoonerisms. This is part of a complete...

Language Newsletter in Your Inbox

Greetings! In our latest show, we talk about an expression familiar to many African-Americans but little known outside that community, "I couldn't buy a louse in a wrestling jacket." Also, what does it mean if your dog is...