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Verklempt

A listener in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, wonders about the origin of the word verklempt, which describes someone all seized up with emotion. This Yiddish term, also spelled farklempt, enjoyed a surge in popularity during the 1990s when it was used...

Af-Pak

Af-Pak  n.— Note: Also AFPAK. «He is understood to have ordered military chiefs to build a revised strategy on the foundation that his first priority is stopping another terror attack against America from what is commonly referred to as...

chuggle

chuggle  n.— «My ’01 Impala with the 3800 engine has 122,000 miles. For the last two months, it has began to surge rhythmically at about one-second intervals when accelerating from a stop sign or to maintain speed.…A sticky or...

shock and hee-haw

shock and hee-haw  n.— «The surge really has accomplished a reduction in the violence, and things are safer. But convoys are still being hit by the IEDs and the vehicle-borne IEDs. They’re even putting explosive devices under satchels on...

wasta

wasta  n.—Gloss: the Arabic word for influence, personal connections; “pull” or “juice.” Note: While not yet fully adopted as an English word, wasta is increasingly familiar to American soldiers serving in the Middle...

coin

coin  n.— «Although Bill Kristol hails the surge as a triumph of “counterinsurgency strategy” in his Time piece, genuine experts say it’s anything but “strategy.” Counterinsurgency, or “coin” in military...

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