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Barbecue Stoppers and Marmalade Droppers

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Unless you’ve been hiding out in a galaxy far, far away, you know that this is an election year. Grant and Martha talk about current political slang. Ever hear of glass pockets? Or horseracism? Is there an etymological connection between caucus and Caucasian? This episode first aired March 15, 2008.

Political Slang

 Unless you’ve been hiding out in a galaxy far, far away, you know that this is an election year. Grant and Martha talk about current political slang.

Moot Point

 A caller wants to settle a friendly argument: Is something not worth debating called a moot point or a mute point? Here’s the scene from the Friends episode that Grant mentions, in which Joey misunderstands the term as moo point.

Foreign Language Range of Love

 A listener calls from in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to say that in her native Spanish, she can use several different words for love to denote a whole range of feelings, depending on how close she is to the other person. She’s frustrated that English seems to lack that same spectrum of words meaning various degrees of love.

Australian Political Slang

 What’s a “barbecue stopper,” and how does it differ from a “marmalade dropper”?

Punny Tagline Puzzle

 Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…Quiz Guy John Chaneski presents a quiz about punny taglines from famous movies. For example, which Johnny Depp film’s tagline is “His story will touch you, even though he can’t”?


 Back to political talk: Is there an etymological connection between the words caucus and Caucasian?

Glass Pockets

 A caller wants to know. Grant explains what politicians and watchdog groups mean by the term glass pockets.

Grow Your Business

 A California man complains that the expression “grow your business” grates on his nerves.

“Er” and “Or” Endings

 A San Diego woman who’s homeschooling her children wonders if there’s a formula that explains why nouns like teacher and writer end in “er,” while others, like professor and conductor, end in “or.” She suspects it has to do with whether the words come from Latin roots or Anglo-Saxon roots.

Karzy and Low-Bush Moose

 This week’s Slang This! contestant shares his favorite slang term, teho, (To Each His Own), then tries to puzzle out the meaning of the terms karzy and low-bush moose.

Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom

 An upstate New York listener of Italian descent is curious about two favorite expressions: “fuggeddabouddit” and “bada-bing, bada-boom.”

Chicken Second Joint

 A Texan says his grandmother used to refer to the thigh of a chicken as the “second joint.” Martha and Grant discuss whether it’s a regional term. By the way, if you want to know the French term Martha mentions that roughly translates as “only a silly person won’t eat it,” (literally, “the idiot leaves it”) it’s “le sot-l’y-laisse.”

This episode is hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and produced by Stefanie Levine.

Photo by Amanda Slater. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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