America's Secret Slang

America's Secret Slang

S 2 E 5

Cut to the Chase

Jun 28, 2014 | 43m 13s | tv-pg | CC

In this episode we look at how entertainment from circuses and vaudeville to plays and movies, influenced the common words and phrases we say every day. How did bad actors give us the word “explode,” rude actors give us the phrase “to upstage” someone, and superstitious actors give us “break a leg?” How did the circus give us words like “jumbo” and “Siamese twins,” and the idea that politicians “jump on the bandwagon?” Why did vaudeville invent “deadpan” humor, “slapstick” comedy and “off color jokes?” And how did the movies give us expression like “cut to the chase” and “cliffhanger?”

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