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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...

Taffy Pocket

In Spanish, a cheapskate might be described as having a cocodrilo en el bolsillo, or a “crocodile in the pocket,” meaning they consider reaching for their wallet too perilous. In English, a stingy person may also be said to have taffy...

coolio

coolio  n.— «What the trucker cap and wallet chain were to hipsters of a moment ago, the Kramden is to what my colleague Mike Albo refers to as the “coolios” of now. Leading with a belly is a male privilege of long standing, of course, a...

Martha’s Tricks for Lay vs. Lie

It’s one of the biggest grammatical bugaboos of all, the one that bedevils even the most earnest English students: Is it lie or lay? Martha shares a trick for remembering the difference. See below for her clip-and-save chart of these verbs...

Costanza wallet

Costanza wallet n. a bulging, overstuffed billfold or wallet. Etymological Note: After the character George Costanza in the the twelfth episode, The Reverse Peephole, of the ninth season of Seinfeld, which aired on January 15, 1998. In the episode...

George Costanza wallet

George Costanza wallet  n.— «Along with it being old, filled with useless receipts and business cards of people he will likely never contact, Steve rarely carries cash in his “George Costanza wallet.”» —“George Costanza...