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Popinjay

What is a popinjay? Literally a parrot, this term is often used in a military context to refer to a vain or conceited officer with a Napoleon complex. And a bandbox boy? That once commonly referred to an officer who gave excessive attention to his...

Books With a Letter Missing

Remember those children’s classics, the Velveteen Rabbi and The Little Price? The Twitterverse is abound with these books with a letter missing. And it turns out there’s some pimping going on in our hospitals, but it’s not what...

Grammatical Guffaws and Kerfuffles

Hi, all! In the last archive edition before our new season (woohoo!), we cover colorful idioms around the world, portmanteau words, "wooden nickels," "thrice happy," "petered out," and why sneezing makes some people...

Etymology of Hack

Ever heard a school bus called a school hack? Grant and Martha explain the etymology of hack, beginning with hackney horses in England, then referring to the drivers of the horse-drawn carriages, then the carriages themselves, and finally the...

Heteronym Word Quiz

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska has a puzzle about heteronyms, words that have the same spelling, but different meanings, like “moped” as in “acted glum” and “moped” as in a motorized bike. This is part of a complete episode.