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Episode 1573

Gold Dance

People who hunt treasure with metal detectors have a lingo all their own. Canslaw means the shreds of aluminum cans left after a lawnmower ran over them. And gold dance? That’s the happy jig you do if you find something far more valuable than...

Episode 1574

Scooter-Pooting

Old. Elderly. Senior. Why are we so uncomfortable when we talk about reaching a certain point in life? An 82-year-old seeks a more positive term to describe how she feels about her age. And: a linguist helps solve a famous kidnapping case, using the...

Beat the Band

Can language change bad behavior in crowded places? The Irish Railway system has launched an ad campaign to encourage passengers to be more generous at boarding time. For example, have you ever rummaged through your belongings or pretended to have...

Tennessee Top Hat

It’s hard enough to get a new word into the dictionary. But what happens when lawmakers get involved? New Jersey legislators passed a resolution as part of an anti-bullying campaign urging dictionary companies to adopt the word upstander. It...

lick over

lick over  v.— «Countless Jamaican hits have been achieved by “licking over” or rerecording Studio One rhythm tracks, or riddims, as these instrumentals are known in reggae parlance.» —“Rock Through the Ages” by...