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Words in English from Native Languages

Craig, a whale biologist in Alaska, wonders how many words have been adopted into English from such languages as Inuit, Yupik, Tlingit and Inupiaq. Indigenous languages in the far North have contributed mukluk, malamute, kayak, and parka. The word...

Words Derived from Old Places

A bunch of English words actually take from the names of old places: peach comes from Persia, bungalow refers to a house “of the Bengal type,” and laconic refers to the region of Sparta famous as a place where people valued speech that...

Determining A Person’s Origin by Their Language

Despite the reach of television and pop culture, American English dialects are growing more diverse. Grant shows how it’s possible to pinpoint your region of origin — or at least come close — based on the way you pronounce the word bag. Of...

Tee Na Na

If something’s right on the tee na na, it’s just perfect. This phrase from New Orleans has popped up in myriad songs from the region. One interview with the musician Dr. John suggests that tee na na refers to the rear end, or tuchis...

Af-Pak

Af-Pak  n.— Note: Also AFPAK. «He is understood to have ordered military chiefs to build a revised strategy on the foundation that his first priority is stopping another terror attack against America from what is commonly referred to as...

dry-needling

dry-needling  n.— «Radiologists first applied a local anesthetic to the patients” affected heel area, and then repeatedly poked the region with a solid needle—a procedure known as dry-needling—to provoke more blood flow to the area...

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