Get out your skinny jeans and pass the PBR! Martha and Grant discuss the definition of the word hipster. Also, what happens when you pull a brodie? And why do we describe something cheap or poorly made as cheesy? Also, sawbucks, shoestring budgets, the origins of bootlegging, and cabbie lingo, including the slang word bingo.
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Why do spelling bees include such bizarre, obsolete words as cymotrichous? Why is New York called the Big Apple? Also, the stinky folk medicine tradition called an asifidity bag, the surprising number of common English phrases that come directly from the King James Bible, three sheets to the wind, the term white elephant, in like Flynn, Australian slang, and what to call foam sleeve for an ice-cold beverage can.
Remember misunderstanding certain words as a child? Maybe you figured “cat burglars” only stole cats, or assumed guerrilla fighters must be angry apes. Martha and Grant discuss childhood misunderstandings about language. Also this week, Yankee dimes, culch piles, hanging crepe, educational rubrics, and whether the language you speak influences the way you think.
In "Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words," Phil Cousineau delves into the curious etymologies of words ranging from the seemingly straightforward to the utterly obscure. Cousineau joins us in studio to discuss the hidden histories and meanings of the 250 words profiled in his book. An author and filmmaker, Cousineau has published 26 nonfiction books and has 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.