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Albany Beef

Albany beef is a slang term for sturgeon. There was a time when this fish was so plentiful in the Hudson River along the New York town of Albany that bartenders served sturgeon caviar free with drinks. This is part of a complete episode.

Kite in a Phone Booth (episode #1524)

Stunt performers in movies have their own jargon for talking about their dangerous work. In New York City, the slang term brick means “cold,” and dumb brick means “really cold.” Plus: the East and Central African tradition...

Dumb Brick = Very Cold

Duncan from Brooklyn, New York, says his friends use dumb to mean “really” and brick to mean “cold.” This use of dumb goes back at least to the 1700s, and was originally a euphemism for damn. Stupid has been used as an...

Strawberry Moon (episode #1522)

We asked for your thoughts about whether cursive writing should be taught in schools — and many of you replied with a resounding “Yes!” You said cursive helps develop fine motor skills, improves mental focus, and lets you read old...

Toodle-oo Origins

Pam in New York City wonders if bidding someone farewell with toodle-oo or toodle-loo derives from the French for “see you soon,” a tout a l’heure. This is part of a complete episode.

Sweet Dreams (episode #1450)

In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the boss is on his way. Plus, English speakers borrowed the words lieutenant and...

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