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Episode 1580

Beefed It

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by explaining the history of words and phrases. And: have you ever been in a situation where a group makes...

Call for Tender

What does it mean to call for tender? This British phrase for soliciting a job is rarely seen in the United States, though tender, from the Latin for “to stretch or hold forth,” is used in North America in two different senses: “to...

Croakers

If someone offered you a croaker with an old man’s face, would you take it? Here’s a hint: the face belongs to Benjamin Franklin. A Louisiana native shares this rare term for a hundred dollar bill. Grant suspects that it may derive from...

dollar banana

dollar banana  n.— «Bananas from these countries are called “dollar bananas” because they are exported to North America and produced by American companies.» —“Global Issues For Breakfast: The Banana Industry And Its Problems Faq...

Chimerica

Chimerica  n.—Gloss: The symbiotic Chinese-American financial relationship, in which there is a great trade imbalance as Americans save little and buy lots, and there is a great investment in American Treasury bills and the dollar by the...