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When “Awhile” Means “In the Meantime”

Greta and Sean in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are discussing whether the term awhile can mean “in the meantime,” as in Let’s go move your car awhile. It’s certainly used that way in many parts of Pennsylvania, reflecting German...

Origin and Meaning of “Jawn”

When Audrey was growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the late 1990s, it seemed that everyone around her used the word jawn as an all-purpose substitute for other words, as in I took my jawn to the jawn and we had a bunch of jawns...

Origins of Vibe and Vibing

Lily in Madison, Wisconsin, wonders about the use of the words vibe and vibing to mean “having a good time” with someone else. The sense of vibrations reflecting some kind of mystical connection goes centuries back and was famously...

Carriwitchet

The joke I have a good carriwitchet, but it’s really obscure makes more sense if you know that a carriwitchet is an obscure term that means “a riddling question.” This is part of a complete episode.

Do Americans Need Briticisms Americanized in Books?

On our Facebook group, listeners are debating the pros and cons of adapting the British Harry Potter series for American audiences. Is it really necessary to change distinctly British terms like kippers, jumpers, and trainers to dessert, to kippers...

Groovy Slang Origins

David in Livingston, Montana, heard a 1954 radio show in which Frank Sinatra used the phrase sweet and groovy, like a nine-cent movie. Was the word groovy really around in those days? Yes, by 1937, the term had filtered into the mainstream from the...

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