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Where the Baker Jumped Through

On our Facebook group, listeners discuss jocular explanations for air holes in bread, such as That’s where the baker jumped through, and That’s where the baker crawled through, and for a really big hole, That’s where the baker and...

Lapidary Prose from Barry Lopez

Barry Lopez was the author of Arctic Dreams (Bookshop|Amazon),winner of the National Book Award, and the editor, along with his wife Debra Gwartney, of Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape (Bookshop|Amazon). In the introduction to his...

Episode 1548

Yak Shaving

There was a time when William Shakespeare was just another little seven-year-old in school. Classes in his day were demanding — and all in Latin. A new book argues that this rigorous curriculum actually nurtured the creativity that later flourished...

Episode 1545

Baby’s Breath

Have you ever googled your own name and found someone else who goes by the very same moniker? There’s a word for that: googleganger. Plus, the language of hobbyists and enthusiasts: If you’re a beekeeper, perhaps you call yourself a...

The Music Truck

In response to our conversation about the expression ding-ding man, a term used mainly in Nebraska to mean “the driver of an ice cream truck,” Greg in Auburn, California, shared that he and his wife used to call that vehicle the music...

Is “Howdy” an Uncouth Greeting?

Years ago, Derek from Omaha, Nebraska, adopted the greeting howdy, but his wife says it sounds too uncultured. In a 2012 paper in the Journal of English Linguistics by Lauren Hall Lew and Nola Stephens describe howdy as a term that is enregistered...