America's Secret Slang

America's Secret Slang

S 2 E 4

Off the Cuff

Jun 21, 2014 | 43m 11s | tv-pg v | CC

In this episode, we look at the ways that American English has been transformed by the clothes we wear, the crimes we commit and the punishments we receive, the insults we use…and the internet. Ever wonder why, when we “speak off the cuff,” we’re “flying by the seat of our pants”? Why is a street robbery called a “mugging,” and does “blackmail” really have anything to do with mail? What’s the difference between a “nerd” and a “geek,” and who was the first person to use “OMG”? All these terms show the ways that American English has built up a wardrobe of words by begging, borrowing and stealing.

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