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Episode 1521

Spill the Tea

If someone urges you to spill the tea, they probably don’t want you tipping over a hot beverage. Originally, the tea here was the letter T, as in “truth.” To spill the T means to “pass along truthful information.” Plus...

Is “Howdy” an Uncouth Greeting?

Years ago, Derek from Omaha, Nebraska, adopted the greeting howdy, but his wife says it sounds too uncultured. In a 2012 paper in the Journal of English Linguistics by Lauren Hall Lew and Nola Stephens describe howdy as a term that is enregistered...

Where The Wild Thongs Are

Howdy! In our latest episode, we discuss why “he’s seen the elephant” means “he’s been in combat.” Also, a look at idioms, like the Spanish one that translates as “your bowtie is whistling.” And what...

We Less Than Three You

Howdy!
This week’s archive episode is one of our favorites, all about the language of love — or, if you prefer, the language of “less than three.” If you look sideways at