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Episode 1549

Navel-Gazing

In 1971, when a new public library opened in Troy, Michigan, famous authors and artists were invited to write letters to the city’s youngest readers, extolling the many benefits of libraries. One of the loveliest was from E.B. White, author of...

If a Bullfrog Had Wings

Mitchell from Arlington, Texas, wonders about his father’s expression: If a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt. It’s been around since at least the early 1900s, and is a variation on an older expression, If pigs had...

A Wet Bird Never Flies at Night

Rachel from San Diego, California, says that her grandfather would occasionally answer questions with the phrase wet ducks don’t fly at night. It’s a variation of a wet bird never flies at night, a phrase that figures in a goofy joke...

Gauming Around

When Matt was growing up in western North Carolina, he heard the word gaum, also spelled gom, meaning a mess. Someone misbehaving might be described as gauming around, or something was gaumed up, meaning messed up, or a person was dismissed as...

Take My Foot and Walk

In the American South, you might indicate you’re going to walk instead of drive with the expression, “I’m going to take my foot in hand and walk.” A variation is “I’m going to take my foot in my hand.”...