Have you ever eaten a Benedictine sandwich? Or savored a juicy pork steak? What’s a favorite dish you grew up with that may be mystifying to someone from another part of the country? Also, what does it mean to tell someone to “put a snap on the grouch bag”? This episode first aired May 3, 2008.
A woman who went to school in New Orleans reports she was startled the first time she heard residents of the Crescent City talk about making groceries rather than buying them. Grant explains the French origins of that expression.
The German word über has found a place in American English. A New Jersey man says he and his colleagues find it to be more versatile than a Swiss Army knife, as in, “He is uber in the middle of that situation,” “That was an uber meeting,” and “You guys are the language ubers.”
An Indianapolis caller wants to know about curious expression she heard from her Aunt Harriet: “put a snap on the grouch bag.” You would think it means “Stop complaining!” but she says it refers to making sure your valuables are secure. What’s the grudge?
What’s the trouble with using the expression “drink the Kool-Aid” to connote blind, unquestioning obedience to a politician? A caller is bothered by the grisly origin of the phrase—a reference to the 1978 mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana—and thinks it’s being used inaccurately, in any case.
A caller is curious about the odd expression “to who laid the rail,” which is used to mean, among other things, “thoroughly, completely, excessively.” You can see Grant’s work on the term at the Double-Tongued Dictionary.
Photo by Marlon E. Used under a Creative Commons license.