Why is it that what you say to your family and what they hear are different? If you say “no,” your child hears “maybe,” and if you say “maybe,” she hears “ask again and again,” and “yes” is just around the corner.” Grant and Martha discuss ways that families communicate and miscommunicate. Also in this episode: the West Coast exclamation moded!, the Navy expression turn to, how to pronounce llama, what it means if someone says your car is banjaxed, and more.
This episode first aired March 28, 2009.
Family Communication and Miscommunication
Why is it that what you say to your family and what they hear are different? If you say “no,” your child hears “maybe,” and if you say “maybe,” she hears “ask again and again,” and “yes” is just around the corner.” Grant and Martha discuss ways that families communicate and miscommunicate.
Origin of Movie Trailers
Grab some popcorn, slip into a folding seat, and you’re ready to watch the coming attractions. But if they’re shown before the main feature, why in the world are movie previews called trailers? Enjoy these old movie trailers at Turner Classic Movies.
Etymology of Moded
It’s California in the 1980s, and—uh-oh!—you’re outsmarted or caught doing something stupid and someone else says, “Ooooooooooo, moded!” This Schadenfreudian slip of an expression was sometimes accompanied by a chin-stroking gesture, or elaborated still further as “Moded, corroded, your booty exploded!” Grant has the goods on this expression’s likely origin. Check out his entry for it– and the comments of people who know the term–at his dictionary site.
Carncierge and Meatre D’
In a previous episode, a caller sought a classy term for a worker in the meat section of a cheese shop, something a little more sophisticated than, say, meatmonger. The helpful suggestions from listeners keep rolling in, and Grant and Martha share a few. Wait, did they really suggest carncierge and meatre d’?
False Opposites Word Game
Quiz Guy Greg Pliska drops in with a word game called “False Opposites.” They’re pairs of words whose prefixes, suffixes, and other elements make them appear to be opposites, even though they’re not. For example, what seeming opposites might be derived from the clues “forward motion” and “American legislative body”? Feel free to weigh the pros and cons of your answer.
Navy Expression “Turn To”
Navy veterans will recognize the two-fingered gesture that looks as if someone’s turning an invisible doorknob. It accompanies the order turn to, meaning “get to work.” How did this handy expression get started?
If you appropriate something that no one else seems to be using, you may be said to kipe that object. A Wisconsin caller remembers kiping things as a youngster, like a neighbor’s leftover wood to build a fort. Grant discusses this regionalism and its possible origins.
Envy vs. Jealousy
Is there a distinction to be made between envy and jealousy? The hosts try to parse out the difference.
To some folks, they’re thermals. To others, they’re long underwear. And some folks call them long johns. Are these warm undergarments named after some guy called John?
If your car’s broken down you might say it’s banjaxed, especially if you’re in Ireland. A caller who grew up in Dublin is curious about the word.
How to Pronounce “Llama”
How do you pronounce the word llama? A caller who learned in school that Spanish “ll” is pronounced like English “y” thinks it’s a mistake to pronounce this animal’s name as LAH-ma. Is he correct?
Photo by Sheila Sund. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Book Mentioned in the Broadcast
|The Dickson Baseball Dictionary by Paul Dickson|