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Foundering on Cake

The verb to founder applies to horses that overeat to a dangerous extent. It’s used by extension in less severe situations involving humans, such as children at a birthday party foundering on cake and ice cream. This is part of a complete...

Click the Doughnut

Barb Beiswenger, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: “I don’t know if anyone has ever pointed this out, but at the very end of your podcast when Grant is talking about supporting the show, it sounds like he’s saying “click the doughnut...

Blow a Gasket

The Pope has several Twitter feeds — and one of them’s entirely in Latin! But how do you adapt an ancient language to the modern world of selfies and hashtags? Plus, pit bull lovers are giving their dogs a linguistic makeover;...

Set the Soup Outside

The old Brooklyn Dodger Roy Campanella really knew how to set the soup outside! A baseball fan recalls this overheard phrase from a game in the 60s between the Cardinals and the Dodgers, when Campy smacked one over the fence. Grant speculates this...

Opposite of “Peas and Carrots”

Do pregnant women enjoy pickles and ice cream? Linguists from the American Dialect Society have been discussing this recently. They found that the expression pickles and ice cream once referred simply to the conjoining of two unrelated things, sort...