Are we a nosy species? A listener married to a woman from Bangladesh explains how a Bengali term that translates as “nose-going” reflects the naturally inquisitive style of Bangladeshi culture. In many languages, the nose figures prominently in words and idioms involving inquiry or investigation. Martha notes a Spanish term, olfatear, related to the English olfactory, meaning “to sniff or pry into.” This is part of a complete episode.
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- 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]
- Jump Steady 05/19/2018: To transmit information during wartime, various industries used to encode their messages letter by letter with an elaborate system--a primitive version of today's digital encryption.... [more]