Ronna from Jackson, Wyoming, asks about the word suffrage, meaning “the right to vote.” It goes back to the Latin word suffragium, which in ancient Rome meant a “voting tablet,” but beyond that, this word’s origins are murky. In the U.S., women pushing for the right to vote a century ago were known as suffragists; in Britain, they were derisively referred to with the diminutive, suffragette. This is part of a complete episode.
- Baby Blues (episode #1542) 02/10/2020: A hundred years ago, suffragists lobbied to win women the right to vote. Linguistically speaking, though, suffrage isn't about "suffering." It's from a Latin word... [more]
- Walkie Talkie (episode #1541) 01/27/2020: One of the most powerful words you'll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn't in dictionaries yet. But it probably will... [more]
- Tiger Tail (episode #1540) 01/20/2020: You may have a favorite word in English, but what about your favorite in another language? The Spanish term ojalá is especially handy for expressing... [more]
- Clever Clogs (episode #1539) 12/23/2019: Ribbon fall. Gallery forest. You won't find terms like these in most dictionaries, but they and hundreds like them are discussed by famous writers in... [more]
- Son of a Gun! - a Special Minicast from Grant 12/19/2019: Grant shoots holes in a story that just won’t die that about "son of a gun" and babies born aboard sailing ships. Before you get started... [more]