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Sock it to Me (episode #1557)

In the 15th century, the word respair meant “to have hope again.” Although this word fell out of use, it’s among dozens collected in a new book of soothing vocabulary for troubled times. Plus, baseball slang: If a batter...

Tiffin Meal

Nick from San Antonio, Texas, says his father used to use the word tiffin to denote a meal or snack made of leftovers. It’s a word borrowed from Indian English which was itself borrowed from the English verb tiff, which means “to eat or...

Kids Are Asking (episode #1523)

Questions from young listeners and conversations about everything from shifting slang to a bizarre cooking technique. Kids ask about how to talk about finding information on the internet, how tartar sauce got its name, and if the expression high and...

Turmeric Pronunciation

Pearl, a youngster in Massachusetts, asks how to pronounce the name of the East Indian spice turmeric. The accent falls on the first syllable and pronouncing that first R sound is optional. This is part of a complete episode.

Prepone: Put Before

Aru in Omaha, Nebraska, says friends and colleagues tease him about his use of prepone, usually used to mean “move an appointment to an earlier date or time.” It’s a word commonly used in Indian English, is morphologically sound, and...

Go Do Do in Louisiana

A new arrival to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is curious about a phrase used by her husband’s family: go do-do /DOH-doh/, for go to sleep. It’s from French dormir, to sleep. Grant recommends the Dictionary of Louisiana French: As Spoken in...

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