A descendant of the legendary Hatfield family of Appalachia remembers her grandmother saying, “Wish in one hand and tacky in the other, and see which fills up first.” She wonders about the origin of this advice, and what the word tacky means in this case. Yep, we know all about the coarser, earthier version of the phrase! Here’s another: “If wishes were buttercake, beggars would bite.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Snaggletooth (episode #1560) 01/11/2021: Many of us struggled with the Old English poem "Beowulf" in high school. But what if you could actually hear "Beowulf" in the English of... [more]
- Like a Boiled Owl (episode #1559) 12/21/2020: What's it like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Mexico to Canada? You'll end up with sore muscles and blisters, and... [more]
- Your Two Cents (episode #1558) 12/07/2020: Astronauts returning from space say they experience what's called the overview effect, a new understanding of the fragility of our planet and our need to... [more]
- Sock it to Me (episode #1557) 11/16/2020: In the 15th century, the word respair meant "to have hope again." Although this word fell out of use, it's among dozens collected in a... [more]
- Good Vibrations (episode #1556) 10/26/2020: Asthenosphere, a geologist's term for the molten layer beneath the earth's crust, sparks a journey that stretches all the way from ancient Greece to the... [more]