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Faux Amis

Beware of false friends, those words that don’t translate the way you’d expect. For example, the word “gift” in German means “poison,” and the Spanish word “tuna” means “the fruit of the prickly...

Apartment Complex Names

Why do subdivisions and office complexes have names invoking landscapes and animals that don’t exist there? A Fort Wayne, Indiana, listener got to wondering about this after passing the “Bay View Apartments” in her hometown: there’s not...

Slang Term “Fronting”

“Don’t be frontin’!” A Texas college student is curious about the origin of fronting, and learns that it goes back several decades to the world of petty criminals. This is part of a complete episode.

When Kids Start Speaking Late

Some children don’t talk until they’re age three or older, then go on to do just fine. Why do some kids start speaking relatively late in life? The hosts talk about a recent Ask MetaFilter thread on that topic. This is part of a complete...

Main Line Brat

A die-hard fan of television’s Mad Men is puzzled when Don calls Betty a “Main Line brat.” This is part of a complete episode.

Origin of Posh

There’s a story going around that the word posh derives from “Port Out, Starboard Home.” Don’t fall for it. This is part of a complete episode.

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