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A Rig and a Half

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Karen in Memphis, Tennessee, says that when she looks disheveled or otherwise unfashionable, her Canadian mother says that she looks like a rig and a half. In Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Labrador, Canada, the word rig means “an eccentric, odd, or humorous person or character,” and goes back to England and Scotland, where related terms mean “to play a prank,” “to mock,” “to make a fool of,” or “to behave riotously.” For a closer look at the language of that part of Canada, delve into The Dictionary of Cape Breton English by William Davey and Richard MacKinnon. (Bookshop|Amazon) This is part of a complete episode.

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