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Man Lettuce

What’s man lettuce? A Tallahassee, Florida, listener uses that term for beard. If you have a beard you might be said said to be barbigerous. If you get it trimmed, you’ve had a pogonotomy.   This is part of a complete episode.

Ball the Jack

A Tallahassee, Florida, man says that when his father was passed by a speeding car, he’d say that the driver was balling the jack. In the early 20th century, a fast, high-energy dance among African-Americans was called balling the jack. The...

Tennessee Top Hat

It’s hard enough to get a new word into the dictionary. But what happens when lawmakers get involved? New Jersey legislators passed a resolution as part of an anti-bullying campaign urging dictionary companies to adopt the word upstander. It...

Bud, Get In!

A Tallahassee listener remembers as a child misunderstanding the sign at the Budget Inn as an exhortation–as in “Bud, get in!” This is part of a complete episode.

A Gazelle on the Lawn

What do you say if you have guests over and someone in your family has stray food left on the face? In some households, the secret warning is “there’s a gazelle on the lawn.” But why a gazelle? Also, this week: the term for a party...

Spendthrift Snollygosters

This week, it’s the language of politics. Martha and Grant discuss two handy terms describing politicians: far center and snollygoster. Also, a presidential word puzzle, false friends, spendthrifts, and a long list of 17th-century insults. So...