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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 1532

Off the Turnip Truck

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about...

Put on the Dog

Why isn’t “you’re welcome” the default response to “thank you” for everyone? Plus lies that kids tell, Philadelphia lawyer, cowbelly, skutch, mind-bottling vs. mind-boggling, tsundoku, infanticipating, noisy piece...

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.