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These are discrete parts, or segments, of whole episodes.

Quizzam and Snirt

This week’s Slang This! contestant, a professor of medieval history at the University of Santa Cruz, tries to guess the meaning of the slang terms quizzam and snirt. This is part of a complete episode.


A listener in York, England wonders about the word grockles, a derogatory term for tourists. This is part of a complete episode.

Middle English Lessons

If you’re still wondering about how far back in time you could go and still understand the English spoken then, check out written and audio excerpts from the poem Beowulf. Also, this NPR report in which host Robert Siegel gets a lesson in...

Pronouncing Aunt

A listener from Falmouth, Maine, disagrees with his Canadian friends about how to pronounce the word aunt. He says it shouldn’t sound like the name of the insect. But is that the way most people pronounce this word for your mother’s...