One definition of a shivaree is “a compliment extended to every married couple made up of beating tin pans, blowing horns, ringing cowbells, playing horse fiddles, caterwauling, and in fine, the use of every disagreeable sound to make the night hideous.” Also spelled charivari, this old-fashioned form of hazing newlyweds often involved interrupting them in the middle of the night with a raucous party. A former Hoosier calls to discuss boyhood memories of a shivaree and wonders about the source of this term. This is part of a complete episode.
- Mimeographs and Dittos (episode #1502) 06/24/2018: In this episode: How colors got their names, and a strange way to write. The terms blue and orange arrived in English via French, so... [more]
- Spicy Jambalaya 06/18/2018: Teen slang from the South, and food words that are tricky to pronounce. • High schoolers in Huntsville, Alabama, told Martha and Grant about their... [more]
- Chopped Liver 06/10/2018: There's a proverb that goes "beloved children have many names." At least, that's true when it comes to the names we give our pets. "Fluffy"... [more]
- Busted Melon 06/02/2018: When writing textbooks about slavery, which words best reflect its cold, hard reality? Some historians are dropping the word slave in favor of terms like... [more]
- Truth and Beauty 05/28/2018: Malamute, kayak, and parka are just some of the words that have found their way into English from the language of indigenous people in northern... [more]