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Rambunctious Meaning and Origin

Jerry from Northern Virginia catches himself describing his poodle Pepper as rambunctious, the wonders how that word came to be. Its origin is uncertain, but it’s one of several long, playful coinages from the early 19th century, including...

Oh, For Nice!

Jesse in Gainesville, Florida, says that when he was growing up in Northern Minnesota, he often heard the expression “Oh, for…!”, as in “Oh, for cute!”, “Oh, for nice!”, or “Oh, for dumb!: This...

Good Craic

Nick, an Englishman who divides his time between Ireland and Virginia, says his American friends were baffled when he described a convivial evening with them as good craic, pronounced just like English crack. The word craic is now associated with...

Awvish

If you’re not feeling quite right, you might describe yourself as awvish. This dialectal term used in parts of Northern England may derive from a local pronunciation of the word half. This is part of a complete episode.

Northern Spy

The manager of a cider mill in Rochester, Minnesota, is curious about the name of the variety of apple known as Northern Spy. The origins of its name are murky, but it was likely popularized by the 1830 novel Northern Spy, about a wily abolitionist...