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Episode 1552

Moon Palace

What happens in a classroom of refugee and immigrant youngsters learning English? Their fresh approach to language can result in remarkable poetry — some of which is collected in the anthology England: Poems from a School. Also, new language among...

Muckle on to Something

Bill in Surrey, New Hampshire, says his father used to tell him to hold tightly to something, such as a rope, by urging him to muckle on to it. He rarely heard the word again until a Scotsman visited his farm and admiringly noted that Bill’s...

Scunner

If a Scotsman says he takes a scunner to something, he means it gives him a feeling of loathing or revulsion. Grant and Martha discuss this term’s possible origins. For more about the word scunner, check out the Dictionary of the Scots...

Scottish disease

Scottish disease  n.— «Where MS comes from and what triggers it remains a mystery, but it is believed to be at least partly hereditary. It is sometimes known as the “Scottish disease” as this country has the highest...

caravanger

caravanger  n.— Note: A blend of “caravan” and “anger.” «Tensions have been increased with the coining of the term “caravanger” to describe car drivers’ likely reaction to having more caravans to...

freemale

freemale  n.— «Sex and the City’s acknowledgement that life could be good without a man in it, particularly if you were rich, led to a whole new generation of emancipated, moneyed women shouting loudly about just how much they loved their...