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Crisp to Mean Cranky

Nathan from San Antonio, Texas, reports that his parents used to use the word crisp to mean “tired” or “cranky.” This usage seems to have originated on U.S, college campuses in the 1970s. This is part of a complete episode.

Episode 1569

Love Bites

The word filibuster has a long and colorful history, going back to the days when pirates roamed the high seas. Today it refers to hijacking a piece of legislation. Plus, the language of yoga teachers: When doing a guided meditation, you may hear...

Episode 1587

Herd of Turtles

Some college students are using the word loyalty as a synonym for monogamy. Are the meanings of these words now shifting? Plus, a biologist discovers a new species of bat, then names it after a poet he admires. Also, warm memories of how a childhood...

Micronycteris giovanniae, The Poet’s Bat

What famous U.S. poet has a bat named in her honor? Hint: it’s Micronycteris giovanniae. This leaf-nosed bat was named by Texas Tech biologist Rober Baker, who happens to be a big fan of the work of Nikki Giovanni. The renowned poet has said...

Episode 1559

Like a Boiled Owl

What’s it like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Mexico to Canada? You’ll end up with sore muscles and blisters, and great stories to tell. Along the way, you’ll also pick up some slang, like NoBo, SoBo, Yo-yo and...

Episode 1580

Beefed It

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by explaining the history of words and phrases. And: have you ever been in a situation where a group makes...