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Low Sick

A Dallas-area police officer is curious about low sick, a term which he and his fellow officers use to describe someone dangerously ill. Sometimes rendered as low sig, the expression is largely associated with the speech of African Americans, and...

Episode 1450

Sweet Dreams

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...

Pig, Slang for Police

A law enforcement officer says he and his colleagues are curious about how the word pig came to be used as a derogatory term for police. This use has a long history that goes back more than two centuries. This is part of a complete episode.

Gung Ho

The origins of the peace symbol, why we say someone who’s enthusiastic is gung ho, a tasty spin on stuffed foccacia that originated in eastern Sicily, curling parents, sharking and other words for driving around a parking lot looking for a...

Gung Ho Origins

A Mandarin Chinese speaker is curious about the origin of gung ho, referring to great enthusiasm. It derives from an anglicized Chinese expression, kung-ho, meaning “work together,” which was adapted and popularized by Marine officer...