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Barge, a Bit of Older Santa Cruz Slang

When Sarah, of Yorktown, Virginia, moved to Santa Cruz, California, in her teens, she was intrigued by skateboard slang, particularly the use of the word barge to indicate “a challenging feat” or “a long distance.” This is...

“Ta-Da” Echoes a Musical Flourish

Julie from Jacksonville, Florida, shares a lovely story of her husband’s increasing use of the word Ta-da! In lieu of other words or to point out a success. Ta-da! references the sound of a musical flourish, such as that of a trumpet. This is...

Episode 1526


The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who’s on your guest list and...


A sea-kindly boat is one that handles well on the ocean. The kindly reflects an old use of the word to mean “suited” or “suitable.” This is part of a complete episode.