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Episode 1574

Scooter-Pooting

Old. Elderly. Senior. Why are we so uncomfortable when we talk about reaching a certain point in life? An 82-year-old seeks a more positive term to describe how she feels about her age. And: a linguist helps solve a famous kidnapping case, using the...

Bet Bet Bet

Anna in Bellingham, Washington, is puzzled by her younger roommates’ use of the expression bet to “sure,” “okay,” “yes,” “cool.” This slang has been around for at least 30 years and is sometimes...

Good Stuff, Maynard!

The catchphrase Good stuff, Maynard! Comes from a series of TV commercials for Malt-O-Meal hot cereal that aired during the early 1980s and featured a little boy and his imaginary friend Maynard. Some folks still use this phrase today when enthusing...

Commando

We’ve previously discussed the term “going commando,” meaning “dressed without underwear.” It first appears in print in 1974, but likely goes back further than that. The scene in a 1996 episode of Friends, wherein Joey...

Letters of Note

Letters of Note, a book based on the website of the same name, is a collection of funny, moving, and insightful letters from both famous people and nobodies. This is part of a complete episode.

Bull in a China Shop

A clumsy person may be known as a bull in a china shop or a bull in a china closet. The former came into use first, in the early 1800s, but bull in china closet is more evocative. Plus, according to the MythBusters, a bull in a china shop is...