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Loanwords with Altered Meanings

John in Brattleboro, Vermont, is pondering words and phrases that change their meaning when they move from one language to another. For example, in Germany the English phrase public viewing doesn’t have to do with a wake, but a live sporting...

Pungle

Quiz time! Does pungle mean a) a baby platypus, or b) “to put down money.” It’s the latter. Pungle is most common in the western United States. It comes from the Spanish pongale, an imperative meaning “put it down.” For...

in-and-out

in-and-out  n.— «If the court upholds Mayrand’s decision, the party could be forced to list the cost of the advertising under its national campaign, pushing it over its allowed expense limit, in violation of the Elections Act. “The...