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Ayup, That’s Some Good

When he lived in Nova Scotia, Jeffrey from Montreal, Canada, noted that the word some was often used as an intensifier, as in That’s some good or She’s some pretty or She’s right some pretty. Also common in the dialects of...

Episode 1615

Takes the Cake

What do you call a long sandwich filled with lots of ingredients? Whether you call it a sub, a hoagie, a grinder, or something else entirely depends on where you’re from. And: Martha’s visit to an Alaskan reindeer ranch reveals why you...

More Tea, Vicar?

Following our conversation about the expression Excuse the pig, the hog’s out walking, and other phrases used an apology or mild reprimand for eructations, Robert in Jacksonville, Florida, emailed to say that when he lived in England, the...

Episode 1499

Truth and Beauty

Malamute, kayak, and parka are just some of the words that have found their way into English from the language of indigenous people in northern climes. • In the 1970s, some scientists argued that two quarks should be called truth and beauty. • The...

Episode 1613

Blessing Box

Is there such a thing as a “neutral” accent, and if so what does it sound like? And that quirk in the way southern Californians talk about freeways. They’ll say things like take the 405 and get on the 8. Why the definite article...

Wilful Waste Makes Woeful Want

A caller in Cooperstown, North Dakota, remembers her West Virginia-born grandmother’s stern warning: Willful waste will lead to woeful want. The more common version, Wilful waste makes woeful want, goes back to the 18th century. Other versions...

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