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No Such Thing as Bad Weather, Just Bad Clothes

In Norway, a popular bit of advice translates as “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” It’s sometimes given as “Det finst ikkje dårleg vêr, berre dårlege klede” and the idiom is also used in...

Criss-Cross Applesauce (episode #1443)

How do languages change and grow? Does every language acquire new words in the same way? Martha and Grant focus on how that process happens in English and Spanish. Plus, the stories behind the Spanish word gringo and the old instruction to...

Jump Steady

To transmit information during wartime, various industries used to encode their messages letter by letter with an elaborate system–a primitive version of today’s digital encryption. Grant breaks down some of those secret codes, and...

Beat the Band

Can language change bad behavior in crowded places? The Irish Railway system has launched an ad campaign to encourage passengers to be more generous at boarding time. For example, have you ever rummaged through your belongings or pretended to have...

Gee and Haw

The highly specialized vocabulary of people who work outdoors, communicating with sled dogs, a word from the sport of rock-climbing, church key, browse line, smeuse, nitnoy, mommick, zawn, zwer, boom dog, and I think my pig is whistling.

German Whistling Pig Idiom

The German idiom Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift is used to express tremendous surprise. Literally, it means, “I think my pig is whistling!” This is part of a complete episode.

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