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Etymology

The Sporkful

What Makes A Sandwich A Sandwich?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Is a buttered roll a sandwich? Is it still brunch if it’s 2 pm? Dan debates food and language with Peter Kim from the Museum of Food and Drink and Helen Zaltzman from The Allusionist.

Freakonomics Radio

Freakonomics Radio: Spite Happens

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This episode of Freakonomics Radio explores our surprising propensity for spite. We discover the gruesome etymology of the phrase “cut off your nose to spite your face” (it involves medieval nuns). Host Stephen Dubner talks to economist Benedikt Herrmann about “money-burning” lab experiments, in which people often choose to surrender some of their own cash in order to take money away from other participants.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Manhattan: Place of Inebriation

Monday, March 07, 2011

The origins of the name Manhattan are a murky business. Today, Leonard spoke to James and Karla Murray, who have set about documenting the varied store fronts of New York's rapidly disappearing mom-and-pop stores. As part of their book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, they include historical descriptions of New York's neighborhoods. In addition to the interesting tidbits and trivia (who knew that the Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery was still making yogurt with a culture brought over from Romania in the 1890s?), I was surprised to find out that the origins of present-day Manhattan could be traced to so many different words. Here's a sample of the few the Murrays named:

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