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Salad Days (episode #1582)

A documentary film called My Beautiful Stutter follows youngsters at a summer camp specifically for stutterers. It’s a place for finding acceptance, support, and confidence for navigating the larger world. And:, “The High Priestess of...

Yak Shaving (episode #1548)

There was a time when William Shakespeare was just another little seven-year-old in school. Classes in his day were demanding — and all in Latin. A new book argues that this rigorous curriculum actually nurtured the creativity that later flourished...

Mariachi Tacos

Caitlin calls from Laredo, Texas, to ask about the slang term for breakfast tacos popular there. Why are they called mariachis? In American Tacos: A History and Guide, José Ralat relates a story that links the name to a restaurant that prepared...

Taco de Ojo

In Spanish, taco de ojo literally means “taco of the eye,” but in Mexican slang, it’s the equivalent of English eye candy, or someone who’s very nice to look at. This is part of a complete episode.

Brollies and Bumbershoots

If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States! In Britain, it’s prolly a brolly. • Also: snow-grooming language, more than one way to say bagel...

All the Ways to Pronounce “Bagel”

A middle-school teacher and her students in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, have a question about one girl’s pronunciation of the word bagel. Is this round yeast roll with a hole in the middle pronounced BAY-gull, BAG-ull, or BEG-ull? Although...

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