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Episode 1542

Baby Blues

A hundred years ago, suffragists lobbied to win women the right to vote. Linguistically speaking, though, suffrage isn’t about “suffering.” It’s from a Latin word that involves voting. Plus: military cadences often include...

Traffic Neckdown

Like Bott’s dots and cat’s eyes, the word neckdown comes from the language of traffic flow regulation. A neckdown is an extension of a curb that widens the path for pedestrians and slows moving vehicles. Also called curb extensions, bulb...

Episode 1523

Kids Are Asking

Questions from young listeners and conversations about everything from shifting slang to a bizarre cooking technique. Kids ask about how to talk about finding information on the internet, how tartar sauce got its name, and if the expression high and...

High and Dry Meaning

Six-year-old Aya in Virginia asks about the expression high and dry. Her family member had worried about some relatives in the path of a storm, and phoned to ask if they were high and dry. This puzzled Aya because she had heard that it’s a bad...