A sixth-grade teacher in San Antonio, Texas, is skeptical about a story that gringo derives from a song lyric. He’s right. The most likely source of this word is the Spanish word for “Greek,” griego, a term applied to foreigners much the same way that English speakers might say that an unintelligible language is Greek to me. The ancient Greeks, on the other hand, imitated the sound of foreigners with the word barbaroi, the source of our own word barbarian. This is part of a complete episode.
- Steamed Bun 03/20/2017: This week: Do you ever find yourself less-than-specific about your age? Listeners share some of their favorite phrases for fudging that number, like: "Oh, I'm... [more]
- Tricky Plural Word Quiz 03/20/2017: Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a tricky quiz with false answers. For example, if the plural of mouse is mice, then what's the false plural... [more]
- Antwitz Anti-Jokes 03/20/2017: A listener has been baffled for years by a riddle told a German friend. It goes, "What's the difference between a frog? Answer: The greener... [more]
- Hindi Dance Proverb 03/20/2017: A popular Hindi proverb about blaming everyone but oneself translates as "One who knows no dance claims that the stage is tilted." This is part... [more]
- Creative Class Origins 03/20/2017: The term creative class has been around for a century, but it was popularized by economist and sociologist Richard Florida and his 2002 book, The... [more]