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Sucker Hole

When Mary from Hanover, New Hampshire, was vacationing in Alaska, she picked up a term from the locals: sucker hole. It refers to a patch of sun peeking through the clouds, which leads tourists to assume that the weather is going to clear up. The...

Episode 1516

Train of Thought

Chances are you recognize the expressions Judgment Day and root of all evil as phrases from the Bible. There are many others, such as the powers that be and bottomless pit, which both first appeared in scripture. • There’s a term for when the...

Smile Belt

The only time you’ll ever see the sun’s outer atmosphere is during a full solar eclipse, when sun itself is completely covered. That hazy ring is called the corona, from the Latin word for “crown” — just like the little crown...

Crusticles and Fenderbergs

A second-generation Filipino-American finds that when he speaks English, his personality is firm, direct, and matter-of-fact. But when he speaks with family members in Tagalog, he feels more soft-spoken, kind, and respectful. Research shows that...