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Episode 1468

Hell’s Half Acre

Hundreds of years ago, the word girl didn’t necessarily mean a female child — in the 14th and 15th centuries, it could refer to a child of either sex. Only later did its meaning become more specific. • Some people think that referring to a...

Spanglish at the Border

A man who divides his time between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, wonders if linguistic mixtures similar to Spanglish arise at other borders. Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language by Ilan Stavans, offers a look at this...

Make A Train Take A Dirt Road

Remember the classic films Dogumentary and $3000? Those were their working titles, before they became Best In Show and Pretty Woman. We look at how movie titles evolve and change. Also, is Spanglish a real language? And balaclavas, teaching your...

Barely Locution

In Chicano English, the word barely, which traditionally means “just happened,” can also mean “almost didn’t happen,” as in “I just barely got here.” This locution apparently reflects the fact that in...

sheetrockero

sheetrockero n. a person who hangs drywall, also known as gypsum board or sheet rock. Also sheetroquero. Editorial Note: The book Learning Construction Spanglish includes the Spanglish verb shiroquear, meaning to “to hang drywall or...

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