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Pronunciation of Measure

Anna, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, wonders if it’s okay to pronounce the word measure as ?meɪʒər (rhyming with “hey sure”) instead of ?mɛʒər (rhyming with “treasure”). This pronunciation is scattered across...

Origin of Hoodlum

The word hoodlum first pops up in the 1870’s in San Francisco to refer to the exact thing it does now: guys who are up to no good. In the journal Notes and Queries, you’ll find all kinds of discussion on hoodlum. This is part of a...

Both and “Bolth”

A San Francisco man confesses he routinely pronounces the word both as “bolth.” Grant gives him the results of an informal online survey that shows the caller he’s not alone—some 10 percent of respondents said they do the same...

maitre-dish

maitre-dish  n.— «Both worked at the Fog City Diner; Doug as bartender, Nancy as “maitre-dish.”» —“After a few years, he fit the picture” by Louise Rafkin San Francisco Chronicle (California) July...

contempt-of-cop arrest

contempt-of-cop arrest  n.— «“Once Pirone put his hands on Grant,” Burris said, “he knew he had to arrest him. He had to justify why he put his hands on him.” Burris said Pirone and other officers were angry that Grant...

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