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Episode 1517

Hair on Your Tongue

If you speak both German and Spanish, you may find yourself reaching for a German word instead of a Spanish one, and vice versa. This puzzling experience is so common among polyglots that linguists have a name for it. • The best writers create...

Norwegian Phrases

Takk for sist is a Norwegian greeting that means “thanks for the last time,” which conveys the idea that the speaker is pleased to see the person again. Another Norwegian slang phrase translates literally as “to be in the middle of...

Episode 1501

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...

Pronouncing Jambalaya

Gary from Santa Maria, California, has been arguing with a friend for years over how to pronounce that tasty Louisiana mix of meat, vegetables, and rice called jambalaya. This is part of a complete episode.

Cute as a Button

Did you ever wonder why we capitalize the pronoun “I,” but not any other pronoun? Also, the romantic story behind the term halcyon days, the origin of the phrase “like white on rice,” and the linguistic scuttlebutt on the...

Chicken Bog

Chicken bog isn’t a bird name, nor is it a place. It’s a dish of rice, chicken, country sausage, and lots of black pepper, found primarily in the Southeast. It sometimes goes by the name chicken perlow or pillow or pilau. A South...