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“Zonked,” Meaning Exhausted

Calley from Bowling Green, Kentucky, wonders about the word zonked, meaning “exhausted.” Like the word conk, as in conked out, meaning “fast asleep,” zonk originally had to do with a blow to the head. This is part of a...

Tattoo Music Exclamation

Rodney in Suffolk, Virginia, is interested in the word tattoo. His grandmother didn’t use it to mean skin art. She used it to rave about seeing a great concert or band: “It was just such a wonderful tattoo!” It might have something to do with a...

Ponte

The Italian word ponte means “bridge,” as in the Ponte Vecchio of Florence. In Italian, ponte now also denotes the Monday or Friday added to make for a long weekend. Other languages, such as German and Spanish, also make a similar use of...

Lit Slang

A Palmyra, Indiana, listener observes that in online discussions of Pokémon Go, Americans and French-speaking Canadians alike use the word lit to describe an area of town where lots of people playing the game. This is part of a complete episode.

American Crossword Tournament

The finalists at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament wear giant headphones to block out the noise of the crowd and color commentary. As it happens, the white noise being pumped into them is the pre-recorded sound of a United Nations cocktail...