Can children adopted from other countries easily re-learn their native languages as adults? And if you’re invited to an old-fashioned pound party, what should you bring? Also, regional names for those wheeled contraptions you use at the grocery, summer reading recommendations, and a breed of cat that’s supposed to bring you riches and good luck. Plus, the Tour de Franzia (as in boxed wine), police slang from the 1940’s, mnemonics, and a breed of cat that brings good luck and riches!

This episode first aired June 9, 2012.

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 Mnemonics
Always remember: Martha never ever makes ornery noises in church. That is, of course, a mnemonic for the spelling of “mnemonic.”

 Pound Party
When would you give a pounding to someone in need? When you’re talking about a community coming together to give food staples to, say, the new family in town or a new bride and groom. The term pounding, also known as a pound party, derives from the early practice of bringing foodstuffs by the pound. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling, once wrote about a pound party, albeit one with a surprise ending.

 Words for Drunk
What slang do you use for “getting drunk”? Paul Dickson has collected his share of terms for being drunk, as have, surprisingly enough, college students. How about slizzered, schwasted, or riding in the Tour de Franzia?

 All Get-Out
If it’s cold as all get-out, you’ll probably want to get to someplace warmer. The “get-out” in this informal expression might refer to being out in front, as in “the winner of all cold days,” or it could be a mashup of “Doesn’t that beat all!” and “Get out!” It’s just one of many terms we use to describe cold temperatures.

 Dorothy Parker Book Reviews
You don’t want Dorothy Parker reviewing your novel — at least not when she’s dropping zingers like “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.” Parker did have a way with words. How about this description of another birthday rolling around: “This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible, it was terrible with raisins in it.

 Silent E Word Quiz
Our Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a word game about words with a silent “e” and their “e”-sound counterparts. For example, a walking stick and someone good at judging situations might be a canny guy with a cane. Or a guy with a noble title playing with a bathtub water fowl would be a duke with a ducky.

 1946 Police Slang
A Tacoma, Wash., police report from 1946 is chock-full of showy police slang, from the punk on the stem to the handle of the beefer. Read the whole thing here.

 Relearning A Language
Can a child adopted from a foreign country at the age of eight easily relearn her first language as an adult? It seems so. Terri Kit-fong Au describes a group of Korean students in Australia who pick up Korean with ease.

 Gazinta
What do you call the sign used in long division that looks a bit like an awning separating dividend and the divisor? How about a gazinta? As in, two gazinta four twice. Otherwise, you’re stuck with boring terms like long division sign or division bracket.

 Summer 2012 Books
Grant and Martha have summer reading suggestions. Grant’s going through books by great women in show business — Tallulah Bankhead, Mindy Kaling, and Tina Fey. Martha finally got a Kindle, and is starting with Herman Melville’s classic, Moby-Dick! A bit wary of tackling this leviathan of a novel? Nathaniel Philbrick makes an excellent case for why you ought to read Moby-Dick.

 Shopping Buggy
Do you call your cart at the grocery store a shopping cart, a shopping carriage, a grocery cart, or a buggy? The term buggy seems to be particularly widespread in the South.

 Money Cat
What’s a money cat? It’s a regional term for “calico cat,” and it’s particularly common in Maine. The idea goes back to a bit of folklore that calicos bring you good luck.

 Call Hocks
To hox, or hocks, means to call dibs on something, as in “You better hox shotgun if you want to sit up front for the eight-hour drive to Grandma’s!”

 Sly Southern Insult
Here’s a sly Southernism for Sundays: “Each one of his sermons is better than the next.”

 Frustrations
What do you say when you’re frustrated? There’s always, “I’ll be jumped up and down, bowlegged, and Johnny Busheart!” Or “For cryin’ out loud and weepin’ in public!”

 Lousy With
What does it mean to be lousy with, as in “She was lousy with diamonds”? Lousy comes from the English word louse, as in lice. To be lousy with means “to have lots of something.”

Photo by Polycart. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Books Mentioned in the Broadcast

The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tallulah by Tallulah Bankhead
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Music Used in the Broadcast

Title Artist Album Label
Great Stone Bottle Ronnie Kole Trio New Orleans… Today Paula Records
Suction On The Spot Trio Suction 45rpm Colemine Records
Darkness, Darkness Phil Upchurch Darkness, Darkness Blue Thumb Records
Easter Parade Jimmy McGriff Step One Solid State
Tomorrow’s Fashions Geoff Bastow Tomorrow’s World Bruton Music
Step One Jimmy McGriff Step One Solid State
My Favorite Beer Joint Pt 1 Don Julian and The Larks My Favorite Beer Joint Pt 1 45rpm Money Records
Dance George Benson Body Talk CTI
She Is My Lady Eric Gale Ginseng Woman Columbia Records
Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Song Book Verve
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