Dennis in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, recalls that his Spanish-speaking mother used to speak frankly with him or rebuke him using the phrase “No tengo pelo en mi lengua,” meaning “I have no hair on my tongue.” The same idea appears in Italian, Welsh, Croatian, Serbian, and other languages. In French, the phrase that translates as “to have no hair on my tongue” means to not speak with a lisp. In Turkish it means “I’m tired of repeating myself.” This is part of a complete episode.
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- Hair on Your Tongue (episode #1517) 02/11/2019: If you speak both German and Spanish, you may find yourself reaching for a German word instead of a Spanish one, and vice versa. This... [more]
- Train of Thought (episode #1516) 02/04/2019: Chances are you recognize the expressions Judgment Day and root of all evil as phrases from the Bible. There are many others, such as the... [more]
- Colonial English (episode #1515) 01/28/2019: The anatomy of effective prose, and the poetry of anatomy. Ever wonder what it'd be like to audit a class taught by a famous writer?... [more]
- Space Cadet (episode #1514) 12/24/2018: We have books for language-lovers and recommendations for history buffs. • How did the word boondoggle come to denote a wasteful project? The answer involves... [more]