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Episode 1540

Tiger Tail

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...

To Lime or Go Liming in Trinidad

Jolene is originally from Trinidad and recalls that when she wanted to ask her friends to get together for some loosely organized socializing, she’dinvite them to go lime or liming. No one’s sure of the etymology, although the Dictionary...

Episode 1539

Clever Clogs

Ribbon fall. Gallery forest. You won’t find terms like these in most dictionaries, but they and hundreds like them are discussed by famous writers in the book Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. The book is an intriguing collection...

Pop Your Clogs, Clever Clogs

Annie in Bend, Oregon, says that while living on a narrowboat in England several years ago, she encountered some intriguing slang: clever clogs, a slightly derogatory term for someone who’s a bit too smart for their own good, and pop your...

Episode 1450

Sweet Dreams

In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the boss is on his way. Plus, English speakers borrowed the words lieutenant and...