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Might Could, Might Should

Modals are helping verbs that affect a verb’s grammatical mood and express possibility, capability, likelihood, permission, or obligation. The use in the Southern United States of multiple modals, such as might could and might should reflect...

You’uns

You’uns, a dialectal form of the second-person plural, generally means “you and your kin.” The term is heard in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and much of the South, reflecting migration patterns of immigrants from the British Isles...

Variations of Ishpy

A while back, we talked about ishpy, a popular word among Nordic immigrants meaning something that a child shouldn’t touch or put in their mouth. It turns out that lots of listeners with ancestors from Norway and Denmark know the term ishpy...

Is “Cockamamie” Yiddish?

Richard from San Diego, California, has a hard time believe that the term cockamamie didn’t start out as Yiddish. Although the word was adapted by Jewish immigrants in New York City to refer to transferable decals, it comes from French...