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Episode 1505

Coinkydink

Sometimes it’s a challenge to give a book a chance: How many pages should you read before deciding it’s not worth your time? There’s a new formula to help with that decision — and it’s all based on your age. • Have you ever...

Blowin’ and Goin’

In June 2018, we appeared in San Antonio, Texas, to support San Antonio Youth Literacy in conjunction with Texas Public Radio. While there, Martha picked up the term blowin’ and goin’, a rhyming compound that means extremely busy, booming, or...

Episode 1442

Whistle Pig

The dated term “jingoism” denotes a kind of belligerent nationalism but the word’s roots lie in an old English drinking-house song that was popular during wartime. Speaking of fightin’ words, the expression “out the side of...

Off Like a Dirty Shirt

“We’re off like a dirty shirt” indicates the speaker is “leaving right away” or “commencing immediately.” Similar phrases include “off like a prom dress” and “off like a bride’s...

German Words of the Year

The German publisher Langenscheidt declared smombie as the Youth Word of the Year for 2015. A portmanteau of the German borrowings smartphone and zombie, Smombie denotes someone so absorbed in their small, glowing screen that they’re oblivious...

Youth is Wasted on the Young

Let’s settle this once and for all: George Bernard Shaw is responsible for the sentiment behind the quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.” But Fred Shapiro’s Yale Book of Quotations indicates that the history of the saying...