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To Go on One Foot and Return on the Other

In Brazil, if you want to talk about going someplace quickly and coming back in a flash, you can use the idiomatic Portuguese phrase ir num pé e voltar no outro, literally “to go on one foot and return on the other.” This is part of a...

Episode 1557

Sock it to Me

In the 15th century, the word respair meant “to have hope again.” Although this word fell out of use, it’s among dozens collected in a new book of soothing vocabulary for troubled times. Plus, baseball slang: If a batter...

Episode 1538

Little Shavers

The word hipster might seem recent, but it actually originated in the 1930s when it referred to jazz aficionados who were in the know about the best nightclubs and cool music. Speaking of music, a professional musician reports that it’s...

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...