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Pig Latin

Grant and Martha discuss the L-word — or two L-words, actually: liberal and libertarian. They reflect different political philosophies, so why do they look so similar? Also, is the term expat racist? A journalist argues that the word expat carries a...

Pedal in Sauerkraut

In a futile situation, English speakers might say that we’re spinning our wheels. The French have a phrase for the same situation that translates as “pedal in sauerkraut.” The Illustrated Book of Sayings collects similarly colorful...

Hindi Expressions

“Half-filled pots splash more” is the literal translation of a Hindi expression suggesting that those who make the most noise have the least worth noticing. Another Hindi idiom translates literally as “who saw a peacock dance in...

Look at Myself From the Inside

A German idiom for “I’m going to take a nap” translates as “I have to take a look at myself from the inside.” This is part of a complete episode.

Origin of Jump Steady

To “jump steady” refers to either knocking back booze or knocking boots (or, if you’re really talented, both). It’s an idiom made popular by blues singers like Lucille Bogan. This is part of a complete episode.

More Nerves than a Cranberry Merchant

Someone who’s being rude or pushy might be said to “have more nerves than a cranberry merchant.” This idiom is probably a variation on the phrase “busier than a cranberry merchant in November,” which relates to the...

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