Last Build Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:33:58 +0000
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 18:39:31 +0000Wrapping up 2016 with words from the past year and some newsy limericks. Bigly and Brexit were on lots of lips this year, as well as an increasingly popular Danish word that means “cozy.” Also, Quiz Guy John Chaneski sums up the year in newsy limericks about movies, science, and the Nobel Prize. Finally, an [...]
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000A boodler is someone involved in political graft or corruption. The word likely derives from Dutch boedel, meaning “property.” This is part of a complete episode.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000A Tallahassee, Florida, listener heard an interview in which actor William H. Macy referred to old cockers, apparetly meaning “old fellows.” Although one meaning of cocker is “pal,” Macy was probably alluding to the Yiddish alte kacker, or alter kacker, meaning “old man.” It’s sometimes abbreviated AK, and literally translates as “old person who defecates.” [...]
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000Responding to our conversation about concluding a phone call with mmm-bye, a listener offers an example of a humorous telephone greeting: “Nyello!” This is part of a complete episode.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000Holiday is an old term for a spot missed when painting or wiping a surface. It’s mentioned in Grose’s 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. This is part of a complete episode.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000A San Diego, California, listener recalls that when asked “How’s it going?” his father would often respond “same old six and eight.” It may be a variation of the British expression “same old seven and six,” meaning “seven shillings and sixpence,” a once-common total for the cost of some types of government-issued licenses. This is [...]
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000A caller in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, refers to a roadside ditch as a borrow pit, as if the dirt dug from it was “borrowed” to form the raised surface of the road. It’s a misinterpretation of the original term, barrow pit, deriving from barrow, meaning “mound.” This is part of a complete episode.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000Listeners respond to our earlier conversation about ending a telephone call with mmm-bye. This is part of a complete episode.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000Although in English we have the terms orphan, widow, and widower, our language lacks a one-word term that means “bereaved parent.” A few other languages have a word for this, including Hebrew sh’khol and Sanskrit vilomah. This is part of a complete episode.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 16:51:47 +0000The slang term woke, as in stay woke, arose among African-Americans to refer to being aware of social injustice or racism, and then doing something about it in one’s own life. This is part of a complete episode.