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Counting Coup

Counting coup refers to a tradition among the Plains Indians of North America of winning prestige and showing dominance by edging close enough to an enemy to strike him without dealing a deathblow. This is part of a complete episode.

Coup de Grâce

What is the proper use and pronunciation of the French term coup de grâce? Grant and Martha explain how the term has been twisted, both in pronunciation and meaning. This is part of a complete episode.

velvet coup

velvet coup  n.— «A senior official with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Brig. Gen. Yadollah Javani, was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying opposition leaders, including Mir Hussein Moussavi, who came second in the June 12...

flip to

flip to  n.— «The text of the letter fits even more nicely into the sitcom format: start with a big joke. Mr. Abu Marzook claims that the recent Hamas coup “…was done as part of our effort to secure Gaza from the lawlessness of...


bong  n.— «Speaking of Fiji, the political tension there seems odd. How can people be thinking military coup when they’re wearing the most relaxed and comfortable of executive uniforms—the business sarong. I like the business sarong (or...

coup de glotte

coup de glotte  n.— «Actually, Mr. Johnson explained, the trick at the heart of ventriloquism isn’t “throwing” the voice but “treating” it. Thanks to a throat-muscle manipulation that opera singers call a coup de glotte, the amplitude of...