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Phrase Anatomy

Jun 20, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2015 1:18 pm

You don't need a medical license to solve these clues. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers literal interpretations of phrases that involve parts of the body--"I'm so awkward and clumsy, I'm entirely pollical digits!" You may think this game is a real pain in the cervical vertebrae (but not literally).

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next two contestants: Will Fletcher and Rekha Shankar.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Will, you're one of New York's finest, huh?

WILL FLETCHER: I am, indeed.

EISENBERG: NYPD.

FLETCHER: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: What is your area of expertise?

FLETCHER: Currently, I work in the projects in Queens.

EISENBERG: Now, you don't know this, Will, but Rekha works on crime shows. She recreates murder scenes. Would you cast this guy, if you could, as a cop?

REKHA SHANKAR: I mean, kind of the main criteria is just looking like whoever was involved with the crime. So if you look like a murderer or a victim...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

SHANKAR: Or a police officer, then yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, so which one does Will fit into?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: No, don't answer that.

FLETCHER: Two out of three ain't bad.

EISENBERG: Two out of three. This is a fun game called Phrase Anatomy, like "Grey's Anatomy." In this game, we're going to read sentences that feature phrases and idioms that incorporate a part of the body, except we're going to give you a literal interpretation of the phrase, with fancy anatomical names included. You have to decipher what the original phrase is.

For example, she hasn't worked here long, so she still has some dampness about the oracles. That means she's wet behind the ears. Will is smiling. Rekha is now nodding her head. Ring in when you know the answer. I need to tell her how I feel, just sit her down and have a real inter-coronary discussion.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rekha?

SHANKAR: Have a real heart to heart.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Excuse me. My pharynx and larynx seem to be housing an amphibian.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Will?

FLETCHER: I've got a frog in my throat.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm so awkward and clumsy, it's like I'm entirely pollical digits.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Will?

FLETCHER: I've got two left feet.

EISENBERG: Oh, no, I'm sorry.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Oh, Rekha?

SHANKAR: I'm all thumbs.

EISENBERG: All thumbs, that is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I know where you were going with that. Pollical digits, as it turns out, thumbs.

FLETCHER: No idea what pollical meant.

JONATHAN COULTON: Me either, Will.

EISENBERG: Now you know. You can use it; impress the boys.

FLETCHER: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: His memoir is so self-absorbed, it's 300 pages of ogling his own umbilicus.

Will's laughing. Rekha's squinting.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rekha?

SHANKAR: Tooting his own horn.

EISENBERG: Tooting his own horn. That's interesting. Just out of curiosity, what is the body part?

(LAUGHTER)

SHANKAR: You know, I don't know...

EISENBERG: Don't answer that.

SHANKAR: Right.

EISENBERG: I'll read it again. His memoir is so self-absorbed, it's 300 pages of ogling his own umbilicus. Will, do you have an answer? Do you want to steal?

FLETCHER: Staring at his own belly button.

ART CHUNG: We'll accept that, naval gazing.

EISENBERG: Yes, naval gazing. Art Chung, our puzzle guru, says, yes, you get it, naval gazing.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You got it. And of course, if you are an innie, you are more self-absorbed. It was a real passion project. He put a lot of sanguineous, eccrine and lacrimal fluids into it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Will?

FLETCHER: Blood, sweat and tears.

EISENBERG: Yes, you got that one right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'll never run for office, too many osteological frameworks in my clothing storage antechamber.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rekha?

SHANKAR: Too many skeletons in my closet.

EISENBERG: You got that one.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: At a VIP event, I got to grind the synovial hinge joints of my humerus, radius and ulna against the corresponding joints of the rich and famous. Hear that every day don't you?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Yes, Rekha?

SHANKAR: I got to rub elbows.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: They go everywhere together. It's like their coccyx are fused.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Will?

FLETCHER: Joined at the hip.

EISENBERG: Joined at the hip is also correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Art, I feel like this is a tight game.

CHUNG: They're actually all tied up.

EISENBERG: Oh, boy.

FLETCHER: Oh, boy.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Your enthusiasm, Will, is freaking me out.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All tied up. This is your last question. I hope this category wasn't a discomfort around your cervical vertebrae.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Will?

FLETCHER: Pain in the bleep.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, that is not correct. But I understand that cervical vertebrae sounds like that. Rekha, do you have a guess?

SHANKAR: Can you repeat it?

EISENBERG: Sure. Hope this category wasn't a discomfort around your cervical vertebrae.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SHANKAR: Pain in the neck.

EISENBERG: There you go, pain in the neck.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Art, that was a dicey last question.

CHUNG: That was the last question and Rekha's our winner.

EISENBERG: All right, Rekha, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Thank you so much, Will. Rekha, you'll be moving on to our final showdown, Ask Me One More, at the end of the show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.