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Delmarva

Leah from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, wants to know the origin of the name of the Delmarva Peninsula. It’s a portmanteau name, made of parts of the names of the three states that meet there: Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The Edward H. Nabb...

Wolf Tickets

To sell woof tickets, or wolf tickets, is African-American slang meaning “to threaten in a boastful manner.” Geneva Smitherman, a professor at Michigan State University who’s studied the term, believes it has its origins in the...

Burgeroids

How do double rainbows form? Scientists at University of California San Diego have explained that extra-large droplets, known as burgeroids because of their burger-like shape, have the effect of creating a double rainbow. Burgeroids, all the way...

Vaccine Etymology

Vaccines take their name from vaccinia, the virus that caused cowpox. It was the original ingredient used to vaccinate people against smallpox. Stefan Riedel, a pathologist at the Baylor University Medical Center, offers a detailed history of the...

Lurve a Librarian

Greetings, Murphys and Melvins and wedgies, oh my! In this week’s archive episode, we talk about these and other terms for that cruel prank that involves a yank. Also, funny Facebook groups for grammar lovers, the difference between...