Johanna Mayer is the host of Science Diction from Science Friday, a series that digs into the scientific origin stories behind our words and language. She spends a lot of time with the Oxford English Dictionary. Before joining Science Friday, she worked as a freelance writer and taught English in Japanese public schools for two years on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. In addition to her classroom duties, she once ate 52 pieces of sushi in a single sitting. When she’s not working, she’s probably baking a fruit pie. Cherry’s her specialty, but she whips up a mean rhubarb streusel as well.

Why don't banana-flavored candies taste like bananas?

They do, they just taste like your great-grandfather's banana (or a pear, depending on who you ask)

Where does the word "quarantine" come from?

It came to English from Italian