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Spicy Jambalaya

Teen slang from the South, and food words that are tricky to pronounce. • High schoolers in Huntsville, Alabama, told Martha and Grant about their slang, including a term particular to their hometown. • How do you pronounce the name of that tasty...

Truth and Beauty

Malamute, kayak, and parka are just some of the words that have found their way into English from the language of indigenous people in northern climes. • In the 1970s, some scientists argued that two quarks should be called truth and beauty. • The...

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...

Scat Cat

The dilemma continues over how to spell dilemma! Grant and Martha try to suss out the backstory of why some people spell that word with an “n.” A lot of them, it seems, went to Catholic school. Maybe that’s a clue? Plus, the saying...

Far Out, Man

What other names could a team use if they realize it’s time to give up calling themselves the “Redskins”? Also, what should we call those people who don’t turn left as as soon as the traffic light goes green? Plus, the...

Cajun Honte

A woman in Lafayette, Louisiana, and wonders about the Cajun French word honte, which means extreme embarrassment and shame. A difference is that the “h” is pronounced in Cajun French but not in European French. This is part of a...

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