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Episode 1591

Pushing the Envelope

Sure, there’s winter, spring, summer, and fall. But the seasons in between have even more poetic names. In Alaska, greenup describes a sudden, dramatic burst of green after a long, dark winter. And there are many, many terms for a cold snap...

What’s a Pigeon Pair?

Nancy in Newport, Kentucky, says friends used to refer to her young son and daughter as a pigeon pair. Doves and pigeons tend to have two chicks at a time, and at one point, it was believed that these offspring consisted of one male and female...

bombsighting

bombsighting  n.— «The machines, which are roughly the size of an upright piano and usually sell for between $50,000 and $80,000, pump “microdots” of molten solder through a nozzle onto the precise spot where component parts are to be...

husband pillow

husband pillow  n.— «Kristin implored me to take more Advil and to try using the “husband pillow.” Ahh, yes, the large firm upright pillow with the little wings that you lean backwards into. It supports your back and kind of...

greenhouse

greenhouse  n.— «Fluted chrome trims both the top of the upright grille as well as the boot plinth (trailing edge of the decklid for those who aren’t conversant in British auto lingo). More delicate brightwork surrounds the greenhouse and...

T-wall

T-wall  n.— «Developed by the Israelis in order to put up a physical barrier between themselves and the Palestinians, the Iraq version of these segmented walls is constructed out of thousands of portable, twelve-foot-high slabs of steel...