We got a call from Sarah in Dresden, Germany, who’s applying to work for the State Department as foreign service officer. She was curious about an article that contained the term pinstriped cookie-pusher. According to William Safire’s Political Dictionary, this bit of derogatory slang came into use in the 1920s to refer to diplomats who were perceived as soft or even effeminate. These men in pinstriped suits would attend receptions at embassies where they’d push cookies instead of paper. This is part of a complete episode.
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- Latinx 01/02/2017: The term Latinx, pronounced Lah-TEEN-ex, gained traction in 2016 as a gender-neutral, non-binary alternative to Latino and/or Latina. A variant is Latin@. This is part... [more]
- To Be Honest With You 01/02/2017: What does a person really mean when she starts a statement with "to be honest with you"? It's important not to take such expressions too... [more]
- Zika 01/02/2017: Unfortunately, one word of the year candidate for 2016 is Zika, the name of the mosquito-borne virus linked to devastating birth defects. This is part... [more]
- Year-End Limerick Quiz 01/02/2017: What's an end-of-the-year episode without Quiz Guy John Chaneski's limericks about words in the news? This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]