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Lakshmi Gandhi

Lakshmi Gandhi appears in the following:

Young Muslim Women Weigh In On The Hijabi Character In 'Quantico'

Monday, December 14, 2015

Attention Quantico viewers: This piece contains multiple spoilers.

When Quantico, the hit ABC drama about a group of FBI recruits who find themselves mired in a terrorist plot, first premiered in September, Bollywood-watchers predicted it would make Indian actress Priyanka Chopra a household name this side of the Atlantic.

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Unmasking The Meaning And Marital Disputes Behind Mumbo Jumbo

Saturday, May 31, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here at Code Switch, we take a look each week at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see the full series here.

"Bureaucratic mumbo jumbo," "legal mumbo jumbo" and "religious ...

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What Do Jay Z And Shakespeare Have In Common? Swagger

Monday, March 17, 2014

"No one on the corner has swagga like us," sang rapper M.I.A. in her global hit "Paper Planes." The song was later sampled by T.I. and Jay Z in their hit song "Swagga Like Us." A few years before that, it was Jay-Z who declared "I guess I got my ...

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Who First Said 'Long Time, No See' And In Which Language?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

How many times has the average person been greeted with the phrase "long time, no see" after running into an old acquaintance? My guess is plenty. But how and why did such a grammatically awkward phrase become a widely accepted part of American speech?

It turns out there are, at ...

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Quick! What Are The Origins Of 'Chop-Chop'?

Monday, February 24, 2014

It takes a special kind of actor to mix bombast and fatuousness to comic effect — think Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock or Will Ferrell in Anchorman. But the all-time King of Pomposity was the late Ted Knight. He played the role of newscaster Ted Baxter in the Mary Tyler ...

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What Does 'Sold Down The River' Really Mean? The Answer Isn't Pretty

Monday, January 27, 2014

For generations, the phrase "sold down the river" has been used to signify a profound betrayal.

"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the 19th century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave-trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves ...

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The Extraordinary Story Of Why A 'Cakewalk' Wasn't Always Easy

Monday, December 23, 2013

Anything that can be done with straightforward ease is said to be a "cakewalk." Any action that is "not a cakewalk" is, of course, difficult and complicated.

No surprise, right? But stay with me a little longer.

The cakewalk was a pre-Civil War dance originally performed by slaves on plantation ...

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Zoinks! Tracing The History Of 'Zombie' From Haiti To The CDC

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

"Who doesn't like zombies?"

That was the subject line of ...

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Don't You Dare Call Me A Hipster! I, Sir, Am A 'Hep Cat'

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Aside from racial and ethnic slurs, there aren't many words that prompt a more immediate and visceral response than "hipster." Many associate the term with craft beer, smugness and, of course, Brooklyn. Modern-day hipsters have inspired a huge number of Tumblrs, memes and trend pieces in the media.

It may ...

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Ketchup: The All-American Condiment That Comes From Asia

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

There probably isn't a more American condiment than ketchup. Millions of ...

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A History Of Indentured Labor Gives 'Coolie' Its Sting

Monday, November 25, 2013

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

In her recently-released book Coolie Woman, author Gaiutra Bahadur traces the life ...

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Where Do 'Hoodlums' Come From? San Francisco

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Singer Chris Brown was in the news last week after being accused of punching a fan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. Police later identified the alleged victim as 20-year-old Parker Isaac Adams. Brown maintains it was his bodyguard who threw the punch and only after Adams tried to board the ...

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What's So 'Chinese' About A Chinese Fire Drill?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Enter the phrase "Chinese fire drill" into YouTube and you'll find page upon page of videos of a classic car prank that's been popular since the 1960s.

For the uninitiated, a "Chinese fire drill" can be described as a form of vehicular musical chairs. Here's how it works: A ...

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Talk To The Head Honcho; He Speaks Japanese

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Picture the "head honcho" of an organization and what comes to mind are boardrooms, power and wealth, an individual at the top of his or her game.

But where did the word "honcho" originate? While the word is often mistakenly believed to have Spanish origins, it actually traces its roots ...

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Are You Ready For Some Controversy? The History Of 'Redskin'

Monday, September 09, 2013

Monday Night Football kicks off this evening with the Washington Redskins facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. As the Redskins start a new season, they are once again in the center of a national debate about their name.

On Thursday, the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New ...

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The History Behind The Phrase 'Don't Be An Indian Giver'

Monday, September 02, 2013

"You can't take it back! Don't be an Indian giver."

Sound familiar? It's the schoolyard taunt that's been used for generations by children (and others) to describe people so ungenerous that they take back gifts as soon as they are given or immediately demand a present in return.

Comedian ...

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A History Of 'Snake Oil Salesmen'

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Snake Oil Salesman." The phrase conjures up images of seedy profiteers trying to exploit an unsuspecting public by selling it fake cures. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines snake oil as "a quack remedy or panacea." What the OED does not note, however, is that the history of snake ...

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