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A Trade-Last Expects a Compliment in Return

Debbie from Memphis, Tennessee, grew up in Arkansas, where she learned the term trade-last, which refers to “a quoted compliment offered in return for the recipient first offering one to the speaker.” Although those from the American...

Respair, A Return to Hope

As a noun, respair means “the return of hope after a period of despair.” As a verb, respair means “to have hope again.” Although both forms are rare and obsolete, they seem ripe for reviving. Respair is among dozens of...

To Repair to Another Room

If you say you’re going to repair to the drawing room after dinner, meaning that that you will “go” to that room, you’re using a word that’s completely different from the verb repair meaning “to fix.” These...

Noshtalgia

Ben in Sydney, Australia, writes with a suggestion for a word describing that feeling you get upon discovering that your favorite restaurant has closed. He calls it noshtalgia, and shares a touching story about his own experience with it...

Around the Gool

A woman in Monkton, Vermont, says that when she and her 91-year-old mother return from a leisurely drive, her mother will proclaim, “That was a nice ride around the gool.” The phrase going around the gool appears in the Dictionary of...

Impudent Fingers

From a certain point of view, re-running episodes is like putting on a favorite pair of jeans. But this past weekend we pulled on our favorite tutus and re-aired “Why Do Girls Wear Pink?” It’s the one where Grant recites a few...

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