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Smithereens Origins

David in Austin, Texas, wonders if smithereens, meaning “bits” or “fragments,” as in explode into smithereens, refers to little bits of metal left over from blacksmithing. Actually, the origin of smithereen is uncertain...

Mr. Cream Cheese

A Massachusetts listener shares her mishearing the name of the beloved character Mr. Green Jeans on the old Captain Kangaroo TV show. She was in college before she realized his name wasn’t Mr. Cream Cheese. This is part of a complete episode.

How the Guppy Got its Name

The tiny guppy, also called the millionfish or the rainbow fish, is named for amateur naturalist and Trinidad school superintendent Robert John Letchmere Guppy. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1443

Criss-Cross Applesauce

How do languages change and grow? Does every language acquire new words in the same way? Martha and Grant focus on how that process happens in English and Spanish. Plus, the stories behind the Spanish word gringo and the old instruction to...

Fictional Character Brain Puzzle

Quiz Guy John Chaneski’s puzzle involves dropping a letter from a fictional character to form the name of a new one. For example, if the clue is: He once used the Force to turn people to the Dark Side, but now all he does is hang out in bars...