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Zarf Hot Drink Sleeves

What do you call the cardboard sleeve that goes over a paper cup to keep your hand from getting too hot? A San Antonio, Texas, listener knows that the technical term for this sleeve is zarf, a word that comes from Arabic, originally denoting an...

Bump and Grind

Remember a few years ago when Amazon introduced that mysterious device called a Kindle? People worried that electronic readers would replace traditional books. Turns out the death of the hardcover was greatly exaggerated. Also, the expression...

Customers, Patrons, and Guests

Jerry from New York City is annoyed that clerks in his local drug store and coffee shop baristas refer to him not as a customer, or a patron, but as a guest. He thinks guest sounds contrived, and should be reserved for hoteliers and the like. Well...

Espresso

Is there an express in espresso? Nope. Cafe espresso is literally “pressed-out coffee.” So the name espresso has nothing to do with the speed with which espresso is made. The term express, on the other hand, as in express train, derives...

Zarf and Finjan

Looking for some good Scrabble words? Try zarf, a type of cup holder of Arabic origin, or finjan, the small cup that’s held by the zarf. This is part of a complete episode.

Espresso vs. Expresso

An Indianapolis woman calls to say she a great first date with a doctor, but was horrified to hear him suggest they meet at an expresso shop. She asks for dating advice: Should she correct the guy, keep quiet about this mispronunciation, or just...