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English Rhyming Slang in the US

English rhyming slang had a short run of popularity in the western U.S., thanks in part to Australians who brought it over (and then, again, thanks to a scene in Ocean’s Eleven). But even in the U.K., it’s now mostly defunct. This is part of a...

Roof and Hoof?

If you pronounce roof to rhyme with hoof, you’re not alone. Millions of people all over the U.S. say it that way, though the pronunciation with the long o sound is more common. This is part of a complete episode.

British Slang to Grass Someone

If you watch British police procedurals, you’ll likely come across the term to grass someone, meaning “to inform on someone” or “to rat someone out.” It’s a bit of British rhyming slang that originated with the 19th...

Modern and Historic Kennings

Kennings are compound words that have metaphorical meanings, such as whale-road meaning “sea.” They’re often found in Anglo-Saxon poetry, such as The Seafarer and Beowulf, but there are modern ones as well, such as rugrats for...

Route Pronunciation

Should route be pronounced to rhyme with root or stout? It has a long history of rhyming with stout — although anyone who’s traveled Route 66 might prefer to say it differently. This is part of a complete episode.

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