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Chumpie, A Multipurpose Philadelphia Word

Alvin in Huntsville, Alabama, is a fan of the multipurpose noun chumpie, which he learned from a native Philadelphian. He remembers hearing it on the television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when actor Will Smith, who is originally from...

Burning the Coconuts

The Spanish word for “sunroof,” that opening in the top of a car, is quemacocos, which has a picturesque origin. Coco is a slang term for “head,” from the resemblance between that body part and a coconut. And the Spanish word...

Episode 1563

Ring-Tailed Tooter

National Book Award winner Barry Lopez had wise advice for young writers. First, read widely and follow your curiosity. Second, travel or learn a foreign language. And third, find out what you truly believe, because if you’re not writing from...

Coyotito

In Spanish, you can have a siesta, or mid-day nap, but it’s also possible to take un coyotito, literally, “a little coyote,” a slang term for sneaking in a quick snooze, much like a nocturnal coyote curling up for some sleep during...

Episode 1558

Your Two Cents

Astronauts returning from space say they experience what’s called the overview effect, a new understanding of the fragility of our planet and our need to reflect on what humans all share as a species. A book about the end of the universe...

Preesh! A Way of Saying Thanks

Andrew in Fort Worth, Texas, says a customer in the paint store where he works was a bit taken aback when Andrew filled his order, waved goodbye, and said, Preesh!, meaning “I appreciate your coming in!” or “We appreciate your...