Greek flags fly beside those of the European Union in Athens. Many people chalk the phrase up to Shakespeare, but its origins likely date back much earlier than that --€” to medieval monks eager for a cop-out. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

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When Democratic opposition delayed a major Asia-Pacific trade deal, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked if the administration had to do some hand-holding with the 11 countries involved in the talks. "I don't know how 'snafu' translates into a variety of Asian languages," he said. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Die-ins, like this one at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, were conducted across America to protest grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Linguist Ben Zimmer says that while the word "die-in" isn't new, its increased use makes it a strong candidate for the American Dialect Society's 2014 Word of the Year. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Where In the U.S. do people say pee-kahn over pi-kahn? Joshua Katz answered your burning question by mapping Bert Vaux's dialect survey on regional variations in the continental United States. Courtesy of Joshua Katz hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Joshua Katz

People who are interested in and paying close attention to each other begin to speak more alike, a psychologist says. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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