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Episode 1567

Kiss the Cow

An anadrome is a word that forms a whole new word when you spell it backwards. For example, the word “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts.” Some people’s first names are anadromes. There’s the girl named Noel...

Episode 1588

East Overshoe

Some people work hard to lose their accent in order to fit in. Others may be homesick for the voices they grew up with and try to reclaim them. How can you regain your old accent? Also, a compelling book about scientific taxonomy shows how humans...

The Expression “Uff-Da!”

If you need an expressive, multipurpose word means much the same as Wow! or Gee whiz! or Oy vey!, there’s always Uff-da! This exclamation, often used to express surprise or disgust or exasperation started out as Norwegian uff da, meaning the...

Taking a Dump on the Ice

JJ spent much of his life in Rhode Island but now lives in Racine, Wisconsin, which has led to some hilarious misunderstandings involving the different dialects of those regions. For one thing, his neighbors in the Midwest made certain assumptions...

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...