Language of Thieves
Constant Wonder - Radio Archive, Episode 830 , Segment 1
Episode: The Language of Thieves (originally aired on January 14, 2021)
- Jan 18, 2021 7:00 pm
- 29:10 mins
There are lots of strange sayings we use–"cat got your tongue," "bite the bullet," and "break a leg" to name a few–and it can be fun to trace where these idioms came from. But not all boast as interesting a story as "being in a pickle," which involves underground communities and hidden symbols. Here is a linguist’s journey to discover how different members of his family fought to either destroy or preserve a secret language of thieves. Guest: Martin Puchner, educator, public speaker, and author of "The Language of Thieves: My Family’s Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate"