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My Word is Born

Michael from Sherman Oaks, California, says that as a teacher in New Jersey in the 1980s, he heard students saying My word is born, meaning “You better believe me,” and later shortened to simply word. The research of linguist Geneva...

Beta in Rock-Climbing

A rock climber in Omaha, Nebraska, wonders about the term beta, which her fellow climbers use to refer to  information about a particular route. It comes from the old practice of using Betamax video to record information about a climb. A good...

Paragliding Lingo

In what sport would you hear the slang terms glass off, speck out, and get flushed? They’re all expressions used in paragliding. Glass-off refers to a smooth, effortless takeoff; to speck out is to go so high that you’re nearly invisible...

Numbers: US vs. UK

Those of us in the United States and Britain may be separated by a common language, but we’re also separated when it comes to how we indicate numbers. A Numberphile video featuring linguist Lynne Murphy explains this in more depth. This is...