A caller from Deer River, Minnesota, has lots of experience raising ruminants and wonders if the word ruminate, as in “to ponder or muse about something” stems from the image of such an animal chewing regurgitated cud. Indeed it does. In classical Latin, the word ruminare could mean either “to chew cud” or “to turn over in one’s mind.” Similarly, the English verb to browse originally referred to the action of an animal feeding on the buds and leaves of trees and bushes. This is part of a complete episode.
- Flee Fly Flo 01/02/2017: Wrapping up 2016 with words from the past year and some newsy limericks. Bigly and Brexit were on lots of lips this year, as well... [more]
- Six and Eight 01/02/2017: A San Diego, California, listener recalls that when asked "How's it going?" his father would often respond "same old six and eight." It may be... [more]
- Holiday, A Missed Spot 01/02/2017: Holiday is an old term for a spot missed when painting or wiping a surface. It's mentioned in Grose's 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.... [more]
- Nyello 01/02/2017: Responding to our conversation about concluding a phone call with mmm-bye, a listener offers an example of a humorous telephone greeting: "Nyello!" This is part... [more]
- Alte Kacker, Old Cocker 01/02/2017: A Tallahassee, Florida, listener heard an interview in which actor William H. Macy referred to old cockers, apparetly meaning "old fellows." Although one meaning of... [more]