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Episode 1541

Walkie Talkie

One of the most powerful words you’ll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn’t in dictionaries yet. But it probably will be one day. The word is endling, and it means “the last surviving member of a species.” The...

Pronouncing “Won”

How do you pronounce the word won? Does it rhyme with sun or Juan? Some people, depending on their regional dialect, may hypercorrect their vowels and pronounce certain words in an unusual way. This is part of a complete episode.

Boo-Boo the Fool

Who is Boo-Boo the Fool? A listener wonders if this African-American character has any relation the Puerto Rican fool, Juan Bobo. Martha draws a connection to the Spanish term bobo, meaning “fool,” and its Latin root balbus, meaning...

south to south

south to south  adj.—Gloss: arbitrary jargon used at the World Bank to indicate migration from one poor country to another. “South to north” indicates migration from a poor country to a rich one. «There are 74 million “south to...