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Nerd vs. Geek

Books that make great gifts for language-lovers, the difference between a nerd and a geek, and talk about a new term, poutrage, and what do you call the crust in the corners of your eyes after a night’s sleep?

Geek or Nerd?

What’s the difference between a geek and a nerd? An Ohio professor of popular culture wants to talk about it. Here’s the a MetaFilter thread and a Venn diagram about the differences. This is part of a complete episode.

Squeejawed Red-heads and Grockles

In this week’s episode: Just how far back could you go and still understand the English people were speaking? We crank up our trusty time machine to find out. Hint: You’d probably have a tough time getting around in the eighth century...

Polly Wanna Cracker?

A man who owns a parrot says that when people see his bird, they invariably ask the question “Polly wanna cracker?” He wonders about the origin of that psittacine phrase, meaning parrot-like. One of the earliest uses of the phrase so far...

Red-Headed Stepchild

A woman wonders about a phrase from her past: “I’m going to beat you like a red-headed stepchild.” Martha and Grant discuss gingerism, or prejudice against redheads. This is part of a complete episode.


burn  v.— «“He said, ‘I burned the cracker that took my money,’” Blanding said. “That’s the street term for when you shoot somebody, you burn somebody.» —“Witnesses refuse to testify in murder trial” by Carolyn...