Elijah from Akron, Ohio, was surprised when his girlfriend Jenny observed that he was zhuzhing his hair. Elijah was skeptical that zhuzh, meaning “to make more attractive,” was actually a word, until he heard others use it. The word was popularized by Carson Kressley in the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy reality TV series from the early 2000s. He’d use the word to denote the action of making something prettier. Variant spellings include zhoosh and joosh, and the term seems to have arisen from secret lingo popular in parts of the gay community in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. The term may derive in turn from a Romany term, zhouzho, meaning to “clean” or “neaten.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Singing Sand (episode #1546) 04/06/2020: Cat hair may be something you brush off, but cat hair is also a slang term that means "money." In the same way, cat beer... [more]
- Baby's Breath (episode #1545) 03/23/2020: Have you ever googled your own name and found someone else who goes by the very same moniker? There's a word for that: googleganger. Plus,... [more]
- Hog on Ice (episode #1544) 03/09/2020: One secret to writing well is … there is no secret! There's no substitute for simply sitting down day after day to practice the craft... [more]
- Goody Two-Shoes (episode #1543) 02/24/2020: She sells seashells by the seashore. Who is the she in this tongue twister? Some claim it's the young Mary Anning, who went on to... [more]
- Baby Blues (episode #1542) 02/10/2020: A hundred years ago, suffragists lobbied to win women the right to vote. Linguistically speaking, though, suffrage isn't about "suffering." It's from a Latin word... [more]