America's Secret Slang

America's Secret Slang

S 2 E 3

Lower the Boom

Jun 14, 2014 | 43m 13s | tv-pg | CC

In this episode, we look at the ways that American English was transformed by the high seas, the ancient world, the movers and shakers of big business, and the news industry. Ever wonder why we’re “pooped” when we’re tired? Or say that a drunk is “three sheets to the wind”? Why do we say our “ears are burning” if someone’s talking about us, and why is October the 10th month, even though its name means “8th”? Why is a rich, powerful person called a “tycoon”? And why are those supermarket scandal sheets called “tabloids”? All these terms show the powerful impact that sailing, big business, the ancient world and the news media have had on American English.

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