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“Welcome in!” Instead of “Welcome!”

Merriwether from Santa Fe, New Mexico, works in the television industry, shopping for props in a variety of retail stores. In the last year, she’s noticed more and more workers greeting her as she enters not just with the word Welcome!, but...

Episode 1599

What in Tarnation

Language is always evolving, and that’s also true for American Sign Language. A century ago, the sign for “telephone” was one fist below your mouth and the other at your ear, as if you’re holding an old-fashioned candlestick...

Barge, a Bit of Older Santa Cruz Slang

When Sarah, of Yorktown, Virginia, moved to Santa Cruz, California, in her teens, she was intrigued by skateboard slang, particularly the use of the word barge to indicate “a challenging feat” or “a long distance.” This is...

Off We Go, Laughing and Scratching

After our conversation about Off we go like a herd of turtles, often said by a parent gathering kids to leave the house, Joanna in Santa Cruz, California, shares the one she heard from her father: Here we go, laughing and scratching! In 1939...

Seen the Elephant and Heard the Owl

Christine in Santa Cruz, California, says her well-traveled father always used the phrase I’ve seen the elephant and heard the owl to mean “I’m not easily deceived” or “You can’t pull the wool over my eyes.”...

Cutting Cots

Following up on our earlier conversation about the correct pronunciation of apricot, a listener who grew up among the apricot orchards of California’s Santa Clara Valley says the locals there pronounce it simply cot, and would speak of getting...