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Tiger Tail (episode #1540)

You may have a favorite word in English, but what about your favorite in another language? The Spanish term ojalá is especially handy for expressing hopefulness and derives from Arabic for “God willing.” In Trinidad, if you want to ask...

Skookum (episode #1534)

So you’ve long dreamed of writing fiction, but don’t know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes, local writing groups, and books with prompts to get you going. The key is to get started, and...

Off the Turnip Truck (episode #1532)

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...

Bush Legs, or Chicken in the Soviet Bloc Countries

A listener who grew up in Ukraine recalls that her family always referred to chicken drumsticks by a name that translates as Bush’s legs. This jocular term refers to an agreement between U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader...

Italian Food Idioms

The Italian phrase Non si frigge mica con l’acqua literally translates as “We don’t fry with water around here,” and means that the speaker doesn’t do things halfway. Quite a few other Italian idioms involve food. One...

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