For the first nine or ten years of her life, the 18th-century abolitionist Sojourner Truth spoke only Dutch. She later used her accent to great effect in her stirring speeches. As Jeroen Dewulf, director of Dutch Studies at University of California, Berkeley, points out in an article in American Speech, as late as the mid-18th century, there were so many Dutch slaveholders in New York and New Jersey meant that up to 20 percent of enslaved Africans in those states spoke Dutch. This is part of a complete episode.
- "In Like Flynn" Origins 02/20/2017: To be in like Flynn means to be "quickly and easily successful." The phrase has long been associated with hard-living heartthrob Errol Flynn but was... [more]
- Five Minutes Of Eleven 02/20/2017: If two people are like five minutes of eleven, they're close friends. The phrase reflects the idea of the position of a clock's hands at... [more]
- Where Does "Pilot" in "Pilot Episode" Come From? 02/20/2017: Why is the first episode of a television series often called a pilot? This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]
- Timid Question 02/20/2017: As the 19th-century British jurist Charles Darling observed: "A timid question will always receive a confident answer." This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]
- Charismatic Animals 02/20/2017: After researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego discovered a seahorse-like creature called the ruby sea dragon, they described this brilliant red... [more]