A listener in Montreal, Canada, asks: How do you pronounce lieutenant? The British say LEF-ten-ant, while Americans say LOO-ten-ant. In the United States, Noah Webster insisted on the latter because it hews more closely to the word’s etymological roots, the lieu meaning “place” and lieutenant literally connoting a “placeholder,” that is, an officer carrying out duties on behalf of a higher-up. This is part of a complete episode.
- Flee Fly Flo 01/02/2017: Wrapping up 2016 with words from the past year and some newsy limericks. Bigly and Brexit were on lots of lips this year, as well... [more]
- Mmm-Bye 01/02/2017: Listeners respond to our earlier conversation about ending a telephone call with mmm-bye. This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]
- Barrow Pit 01/02/2017: A caller in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, refers to a roadside ditch as a borrow pit, as if the dirt dug from it was "borrowed" to... [more]
- Six and Eight 01/02/2017: A 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... [more]
- Holiday, A Missed Spot 01/02/2017: Holiday 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.... [more]