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Skell Slang

Will, an emergency medical technician in Queens, New York, offers this bit of lingo from his line of work: skell, meaning a “lowlife.” In South African slang, the word skelm means the same thing. Will and his colleagues also use the term...

Nerd Amelioration

Nerd used to be a term of derision, connoting someone who was socially awkward and obsessed with a narrow field of interest. Now it’s used more admiringly for anyone who has a passion for a particular topic. Linguists call that type of...

Crackerjack Fellow

A crackerjack fellow is someone who’s excellent or first-rate. It’s most likely the same positive sense of crack found in terms like cracking good, crack team, and crack shot. This is part of a complete episode.

Nerd vs. Geek

Books that make great gifts for language-lovers, the difference between a nerd and a geek, and talk about a new term, poutrage, and what do you call the crust in the corners of your eyes after a night’s sleep?

Geek or Nerd?

What’s the difference between a geek and a nerd? An Ohio professor of popular culture wants to talk about it. Here’s the a MetaFilter thread and a Venn diagram about the differences. This is part of a complete episode.