Books that make great gifts for language-lovers, the difference between a nerd and a geek, and talk about a new term, poutrage, and what do you call the crust in the corners of your eyes after a night’s sleep?
This episode first aired December 11, 2010.
What do the words marathon, paisley, and bikini have in common? They’re all words that derive from the names of places. Martha and Grant talk about these and other toponyms.
In the Pacific Northwest, the term spendy means “expensive.”
Repeat After Me Word Quiz
Puzzle Guy John Chaneski presents a quiz called “Repeat After Me.” It’s a quiz that’s neither so-so nor too-too.
A Marine at Camp Pendleton says that while in Iraq, he and his buddies heard the greeting “Yambo!” from Ugandan troops there. Now they use it with each other, and he wonders about its literal meaning. Martha explains that it’s a common Kiswahili term.
Foreignisms and Loanwords
In the novel Jane Eyre, characters sometimes speak whole sentences in French. A high school English teacher says her students wonder if there’s a term for inserting whole sentences from another language into fiction. Grant talks about the use of foreignisms and loanwords.
Martha has a crazy crossword clue sent by a listener: “Camel’s Nemesis.” Twelve letters. Got it?
Names for Locals
Residents of Maine are called “Mainers,” people in Texas are “Texans,” those in Wisconsin are “Wisconsinites,” and people in Phoenix are … “Phoenicians”? Grant and Martha explain that there are consistent rules for the naming the locals. The book they reference is Paul Dickson’s Labels for Locals.
Books for Language Lovers
Martha and Grant offer gift recommendations for language lovers:
Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages, by Guy Deutscher.
OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word, by Allan Metcalf.
Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, by Pendred Noyce.
Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language, by Deborah Fallows.
What do you call the crust that forms in the corners of your eyes when you sleep? Sleepy dust, sleepy sand, eyejam, eye boogers, eye potatoes, sleep sugar, eye crusties, sleepyjacks. An Indiana man wonders if anyone else uses his family’s term for it, cat butter.
“Toe the Line” vs. “Tow the Line”
Is the proper phrase toe the line or tow the line?
OK Moon Talk
Grant talks about how that great American export, the word OK, was part of the first conversation on the surface of the moon.
You upgrade your software, and instead of working better, it’s worse. Is there a word for that phenomenon? Downgrade? Oopsgrade? How about Newcoked?
Poutrage is a new term for “acting outraged when you’re really not. It’s sort of like accismus, “the pretended refusal of something actually very much desired.”
Photo by Mark Probst. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Books Mentioned in the Broadcast
|Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte|
|Labels for Locals by Paul Dickson|
|Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher|
|OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word by Allan Metcalf|
|Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce|
|Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language by Deborah Fallows|
Music Used in the Broadcast
|Go Je Je||Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra||Government Magic||Afrosound Records|
|Musicawa Silt||The Daktaris||Soul Explosion||Desco Records|
|It’s Too Late||Johnny “Hammond” Smith||Breakout||KUDU|
|Funky So And So||Sugarman 3 and Co.||Pure Sugar Cane||Daptone Records|
|Ghetto Funk||Duralcha||Funk Spectrum II||BBE|
|Daktaris Walk||The Daktaris||Soul Explosion||Desco Records|
|Breakout||Johnny “Hammond” Smith||Breakout||KUDU|
|Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself||Maseo & All The Kings Men||Doing Their Own Thing||Charly Records|
|Funky Washing Machine||World Wonders||Funk Spectrum II||BBE|
|Tropical||African Music Machine||Stone Cold Funk||Music Club Records|
|Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off||Fred Astaire||Fred Astaire’s Finest Hour||Verve|