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Hitch in its Getalong

A caller is curious about the colloquial expression “it has a catch in its getalong.” She used it to describe the family’s faulty car. Her husband complained the phrase was too imprecise. Grant and Martha discuss this and similar...

Hebrew Spoken at Home

Grant tells the story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who revived the use of Hebrew outside of religious contexts. In 1850, no one spoke Hebrew as an everyday household language; now it’s spoken by more than 5 million people. This is part of a complete...

Understanding Old English

In this week’s episode: Just how far back could you go and still understand the English people were speaking? We crank up our trusty time machine to find out. Hint: You’d probably have a tough time getting around in the eighth century...

Ally, Ally, in Free

Speaking of the more recent past: When you played hide-and-seek as a child, did you yell “Ollie, Ollie Oxen Free”? Or “Ally Ally in Free”? Or maybe “Ally Ally Ump Free”? “Ole Ole Olsen Free”? Or...