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Singing and Barking Sands

Singing sand refers to the roaring noise or boom produced by vibrations in sand dunes. Barking sand, which makes yipping noises when you drag your feet along it, is found along coastlines in Hawaii and elsewhere. These terms are discussed in more...

Language with Covert Prestige

When the dialect of a minority group becomes highly valued and exerts force on the language of the majority, linguists say it has covert prestige. For example, many words and phrases from drag culture and hip-hop found their way into the mainstream...

No Tea, No Shade

The slang expression “No Tea, No Shade,” meaning “No disrespect, but …” is common in the drag community, where T means “truth.” The related phrase “All Tea, All Shade,” means “This statement is...

Swarpy

A caller whose wife is from eastern Kentucky says she uses the term swarpy to describe clothing that’s too big, ill-fitting, and may even drag on the ground. This term probably derives from an old Scots verb “swap,” meaning to...

podfade

podfade  n.— «But there’s a problem with deciding to do a podcast on mortgages if you’re just in it for the money…after a few episodes you’re likely to experience what’s known in the industry as “podfade”—that’s when a podcast...

flying K

flying K  n.— «This is skiing’s equivalent of drag racing and, unlike in slalom, there are no gates or turns. Speed skiers just point the ski tips straight down a hill that is so steep it is almost freefall. Also known as the “flying...

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