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Are Garbage and Trash the Same Thing?

Jill in Shelton, Washington, says that when she lived in Southern California, she understood the word garbage to mean food scraps, with trash referring to everything else collected curbside. Historically, garbage has referred to the wet, disgusting...

Stuff in Baseball

Sarah from Leyden, Massachusetts, wonders about the many ways baseball commentators and sportswriters use the word stuff, as in “The stuff is there, but the command is off,” or “The kid’s got great stuff, but he’s only...

Spookasem, Ghost’s Breath

In South Africa, the word spookasem is a term for cotton candy, although it literally translates as ghost’s breath. Elsewhere in the English-speaking word, the sweet stuff is also called candy floss or fairy floss. This is part of a complete...

Double Stuff Word Puzzle

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a double stuff puzzle in which each answer consists of two rhyming words with two syllables each. For example, what would you call food provided by God for your grandmother? This is part of a complete episode.

Biz Bag

The term biz bag, meaning a bag to stuff your discarded items in, comes from an old commercial for Biz stain-removing detergent. This is part of a complete episode.


An ailurophile from Dallas, Texas, wrote us to say her cat has a hobby of poking around in the closet and finding hidden nooks to nap in, or as she calls it, closeteering. That’s also a great term for generally digging around in the closet for...