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Episode 1581

Your Imaginary Boyfriend

We use the term Milky Way for that glowing arc across the sky. But how people picture it varies from culture to culture. In Sweden, that starry band goes by a name that means “Winter Street,” and in Hawaii, a term for the Milky Way...

So Mad I Could Spit Nickels

Juice in Genoa, New York, remembers her mother used to say I am so mad I could spit nickels. It’s one of several variations on the idea of being angry enough to spit, period, or to spit something specific, such as spit tacks, spit nails, spit...

Spit in Air and Jump Through It

Victoria from Tallahassee, Florida, weighs in on our discussion about terms for an extremely quick bath. When Victoria was young, her great-great grandmother from Poland, when checking if Victoria had indeed washed herself, would ask...

swish and spit

swish and spit  n.— «It requires transoceanic vessels to dump ballast water at least 200 miles from shore. Those carrying no ballast must rinse their tanks with salt water, a process known as “swish and spit,” to kill organisms lurking in...

Spitting Image

Which is correct for describing a close family resemblance: spittin’ image or spit and image? Grant and Martha discuss the possible origins of these expressions, including a recent hypothesis that’s sure to surprise. This is part of a...

spit-take

spit-take
 n.— «“I admire men like you, Mr. Heller.” I almost did a spit take. “Me?”» —by Max Allan Collins Stolen Away May 1, 1991. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)