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Layers to Catch Meddlers

Anna from Columbia, Mississippi, wonders about a phrase she heard as a youngster from her dad: leyores to catch meddlers or leyores to catch meddlers. Sometimes when she’d ask what he was doing, he’d respond with that cryptic saying...

Is Spanglish a Language?

Spanglish. What’s it all about? Is it a real language, or just a funky amalgam? Ilan Stavans‘ book Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language traces the varieties of Spanglish that have sprung up around the country, and includes...

Take-Offs Word Quiz

Our Quiz Guy John Chaneski offers a quiz called Take-Offs. For each clue, remove the first letter of a word to get the second (or third) word in the puzzle. For example, in the first chapter of Moby Dick, Ishmael had to screw up his courage and join...

scooter hoot

scooter hoot  n.— «President of the Defiers M.C. Stone, Ky. chapter “Super Red” said scooter hoot is really another term for a biker party. Super Red is his biker name and he told the Daily News this is how he wished to be addressed...

callback

callback  n.— «He ends nearly every chapter with a surprising figurative twist on something he said earlier, like what comedians refer to as a “callback.”» —“Inventing English: A Portable History Of The Language By Seth...

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