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Pronouncing “Aegis”

A voicemail from a Hawaii listener leads to a discussion of the correct pronunciation for Aegis, a naval combat system. Is it EE-jiss or AY-jiss? In Greek myth, an aegis was a protective shield, and today, to be under the aegis means to be...

Don’t Chew Cabbage Twice

The saying “I don’t chew my cabbage twice,” means I’m not going to repeat myself. The ancient Romans, by the way, ate cabbage as a protection against hangovers, but detested the smell of twice-cooked cabbage. This is part of...

Silly Changed Meaning

The word silly didn’t always have its modern meaning. In the 1400s, silly meant happy or blessed. Eventually, “silly” came to mean weak or in need of protection. Other seemingly simple words have shifted meanings as the English...

cut sign

cut sign  v. phr.—Gloss: To track someone by their trail marks. Note: Used inside the US Customs and Border Protection, which patrols the United States border. «He knew that the coyotes who led groups of undocumented workers, as well as...

v-spam

v-spam  n.— «V-spam is a dangerous strain of “virus spam” that is designed to deceive recipients, causing them to invite viruses into their computers. Virus spam, or v-spam, attempts to circumvent anti-virus protection by...

bandit barrier

bandit barrier  n.— «Kelly said there needs to be a return to the measures put in place in 2003, such as the installation of the bullet-resistant glass, better known as “bandit barriers.”» —“NYPD’s Kelly: Banks need more...

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