If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States; in Britain, it’s more likely a brolly. You’ll learn that and much more about the differences between British English and American English in the marvelous new book The Prodigal Tongue by linguist Lynne Murphy. This is part of a complete episode.
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- Beside Myself (episode #1535) 11/04/2019: The new Downton Abbey movie is a luscious treat for fans of the public-television period piece, but how accurate is the script when it comes... [more]
- Skookum (episode #1534) 10/21/2019: So you've long dreamed of writing fiction, but don't know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes,... [more]
- Life of Riley (episode #1533) 10/07/2019: Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout... [more]
- Off the Turnip Truck (episode #1532) 09/23/2019: It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham... [more]