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Episode 1573

Gold Dance

People who hunt treasure with metal detectors have a lingo all their own. Canslaw means the shreds of aluminum cans left after a lawnmower ran over them. And gold dance? That’s the happy jig you do if you find something far more valuable than...

Low Sick

A Dallas-area police officer is curious about low sick, a term which he and his fellow officers use to describe someone dangerously ill. Sometimes rendered as low sig, the expression is largely associated with the speech of African Americans, and...

Out in the Bundus

Bundu is a Bantu word meaning “a largely uninhabited wild region far from town.” It was adopted into South African slang and ultimately into British English, and appears in the phrase out in the bundus, with the same meaning. Although it...

Seditty, Saddity

Semby from Los Angeles, California, wants to know about the term saditty, also spelled seditty, which refers to someone who is stuck up or puts on airs. Used almost exclusively among African Americans, this term may simply be a fancy pronunciation...

Episode 1531

Loaded for Bear

One way to make your new business look trendy is to use two nouns separated by an ampersand, like Peach & Creature or Rainstorm & Egg or … just about any other two-word combination. A tongue-in-cheek website will generate names like...

The Given Name “Bornface”

Jonathan in Fall River, Wisconsin, says when he worked in Zambia he met many people named Bornface, supposedly because they were born face-up. In The African Book of Names, Ashkari Johnson Hodari explains that it’s common throughout sub...