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A Way with Words - language, linguistics, and callers from all over

A Way with Words

Society & Culture, Education, Language Learning

4.62K Ratings

Overview

Light-hearted conversation with callers from all over about new words, old sayings, slang, family expressions, language change and varieties, as well as word histories, linguistics, regional dialects, word games, grammar, books, literature, writing, and more. Be a part of the show with author/journalist Martha Barnette and linguist/lexicographer Grant Barrett. Share your language thoughts, questions, and stories: https://waywordradio.org/contact or [email protected]. In the US 🇺🇸 and Canada 🇨🇦, call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free 24/7. In the UK 🇬🇧, 020 3286 5677. In México 🇲🇽, 55 8421 8567.  Send a voice note or question via WhatsApp, 16198004443. From everywhere, call or text +1 (619) 800-4443. Past episodes, show notes, topic search, and more: https://waywordradio.org. A Way with Words is listener-supported! https://waywordradio.org/donate ❤️  Want to listen without ads? Subscribe here! https://awww.supportingcast.fm

709 Episodes

Animal Crackers - 13 May 2024

Images of birds flutter inside lots of English words and phrases, from “nest egg” and “pecking order,” to proverbs from around the world—including a lovely Spanish saying about how birds sense light just before dawn. Plus, how do you define “fun”? Outdoor enthusiasts divide fun into three distinct categories, the last of which is something you’ve tried once but never want to do again. And, writing and editing advice from the great Toni Morrison. Also, posing for animal crackers, madder than a peach orchard boar, placeholder words, memorizing poetry, racing for pinks, a tricky quiz about eye rhymes, I’ll be John Browned, footercootering, why some people pronounce both as “bolth,” and more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2024

Beside Myself (Rebroadcast) - 6 May 2024

The new Downton Abbey movie is a luscious treat for fans of the public-television period piece, but how accurate is the script when it comes to the vocabulary of the early 20th century? It may be jarring to hear the word swag, but it was already at least 100 years old. And no, it’s not an acronym. Also, a historian of science sets out to write a book to celebrate semicolons — and ends up transforming her views about language. Plus, one teacher’s creative solution to teen profanity in the classroom. Two words for you: moo cow. Also, demonyms, semicolons, neke neke, a brain teaser about the Greek alphabet, go-aheads, zoris, how to pronounce zoology, and everything’s duck but the bill. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2024

Skookum (Rebroadcast) - 29 April 2024

So you’ve long dreamed of writing fiction, but don’t know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes, local writing groups, and books with prompts to get you going. The key is to get started, and then stick with it. And: which part of the body do surgeons call the goose? Hint: you don’t want a bite of chicken caught in your goose. Also, the nautical origins of the phrase three sheets to the wind. This term for “very drunk” originally referred to lines on a sailboat flapping out of control. Plus, a brain teaser about shortened phrases, toolies, linguistic false friends, skookum, how to pronounce the word bury, what now now means in South Africa, and a whole lot more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2024

Electric Soup - 22 April 2024

When an international team of scientists traveled to a research station in Antarctica for six months, the language they all shared was English. After six months together, their accents changed ever so slightly--a miniature version of how language evolves over time. Plus, the esoteric lingo from another rarefied environment: the world of contemporary art. And where in the world would you find a stravenue? It's a mix of avenue and street. Also, dingle day, booty, clambake, a quiz with answers that form a conga line of syllables, going to the salt mines, like death eating a cracker, daffodil vs. jonquil, helpful new books about language, I go to the foot of the stairs, and #30#. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

Life of Riley (Rebroadcast) - 15 April 2024

Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout lane is named after a family’s beloved horse. And: 50 years ago in the United States, some Latino elementary students were made to adopt English versions of their own names and forbidden to speak Spanish. The idea was to help them assimilate, but that practice came with a price. Plus, who is Riley, and why is their life a luxurious one? Also: a brain-busting quiz about synonyms, salary, dingle-dousie, strong work, a leg up, it must have been a lie, don’t get into any jackpots, and lots more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

Blue Dolphin - 8 April 2024

How can you kick the verbal habit of saying you know and um so many times in a sentence? For one thing, get comfortable with pauses. There’s no need to fill every silence during a conversation. Also, a doctor who treats patients in Appalachia shares their colorful vocabulary. If you have a rising in your leader or a misery in your jaw, you may want medical attention. Speaking of ailments, have you ever suffered from warbler neck? Birding enthusiasts get it from searching for hard-to-find species perched in treetops. Plus, mouthfeel, pan-pan, inkhorn terms, Hollywood anachronisms, dout, Werner Herzog’s new memoir, an abecedarian puzzle, latibulate, agelastic, a word that means “to lick dishes,” ordering a blue dolphin neat, and more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

Off the Turnip Truck (Rebroadcast) - 1 April 2024

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham Bell suggested answering with ahoy! but Thomas Edison was partial to hello! A fascinating new book about internet language says this disagreement is worth remembering when we talk about how greetings are evolving today — both online and off. Plus, a Los Angeles teacher asks: What are the rules for teen profanity in the classroom? Finally, why some people mimic the accents of others. It might be simple thoughtlessness, but it might also be an earnest, if awkward, attempt to communicate. Plus, a puzzle about specialty cocktails, mafted, fair game, dial eight, commander in chief, Roosevelt’s eggs, Charlie’s dead, and lots more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

Gilded Age - 25 March 2024

In her sumptuous new memoir, Jamaican writer Safiya Sinclair describes her escape from a difficult childhood ruled by her tyrannical father. For Sinclair, poetry became a lifeline. Plus: that fizzy chocolate drink called an egg cream contains neither eggs nor cream — but why? And what do you call a cute dimple in someone’s chin? A listener calls it a chimple. Also, arrested sternutation, nonplussed, slatch, the Gruen effect, tinker, barnburner, up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire, and how lakes are named. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2024

Loaded For Bear (Rebroadcast) - 18 March 2024

One way to make your new business look trendy is to use two nouns separated by an ampersand, like Peach & Creature or Rainstorm & Egg or … just about any other two-word combination. A tongue-in-cheek website will generate names like that for you. And: In the traditions of several African countries, names for babies are often inspired by conditions at the time of their birth, like a period of grief or wedding festivities, or the baby’s position when leaving the womb. In Zambia, for example, some people go by the name Bornface, because they were born face up. Also, slang from a rock-climber, who warns not to go near rock that’s chossy. Plus: a proverbial puzzle, loaded for bear, pizey, helter-skelter and other reduplicatives, shirttail relative, counting coup, just a schlook, a brainteaser, and lots more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

Bronx Cheer - 11 March 2024

What’s the best thing to say to someone who is grieving? Choosing the right words is far less important than just showing up. Also, a family from Russia shares their recipe for something they call hot tamales, that are very un-Mexican. And: if someone’s trying to be philosophical about a situation, they might say sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. Plus, horsengoggling, a fragrant 16th-century simile, might as well, can’t dance, a puzzle about cryptic crosswords, Trevlac, Québécois French, Pearl at the picnic, avoir l’air d’une vache qui regarde passer un train, a messy pangram, the big bird, and how to pronounce labret. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2024

Mrs. Astor's Horse (Rebroadcast) - 4 March 2024

“What has a head like a cat, feet like a cat, a tail like a cat, but isn’t a cat?” Answer: a kitten! A 1948 children’s joke book has lots of these to share with kids. Plus: an easy explanation for the difference between immigrate with an i, and emigrate with an e. And: The ancient Greeks revered storks for the way they cared for each other. They even had a legal requirement called the Stork Law, which mandated that Greek adults look after their elderly parents. Much later, the same idea inspired a rare English word that means “reciprocal love between children and parents.” All that, plus a brain-busting quiz about scrambled words, Mrs. Astor’s pet horse, dissimilation when pronouncing the word forward, tap ’er light, allopreening, raise the window down, why we call a zipper a fly, and lots more. Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

Ghost Runner - 26 February 2024

In Japan, if you want to order a corndog, you ask for an Amerikan doggu (アメリカンドッグ). These types of coinages are called wasei-eigo , or “Japanese-made English,” and there are lots of them. Plus, there’s an atmospheric optical phenomenon that looks somewhat like the aurora borealis, but has a much friendlier name. Scientists refer to these ribbons of color as … Steve. And: need a synonym for the word “conspicuous”? There’s always kenspeckle . Also, nitnoy , faire la grasse matinée , sunday-to-meeting , sana, sana, colita de rana, a codebreaker who solves a years-long mystery, a brain teaser about action-packed metaphors, ghostie , gander’s arch , fluffle , and more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2024

At First Blush (Rebroadcast) - 19 February 2024

Book recommendations and the art of apology. Martha and Grant share some good reads, including an opinionated romp through English grammar, a Spanish-language adventure novel, an account of 19th-century dictionary wars, and a gorgeously illustrated book of letters to young readers. Plus, what's the best language for conveying a heartfelt apology? Ideally, an apology won't be the end of a conversation. Rather, it will be the beginning of one. Plus, a brain-busting word quiz, snow job, clean as a whistle, high muckety-muck, tip us your daddle, and a wet bird never flies at night. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

Sweet Spot - 12 February 2024

If you’re in a book club, how do you decide what books to read? There are lots of different ways, depending on your group’s goals. And is it ever wise to correct someone who mispronounces a word? Sometimes you have to decide if it’s better to be right–or simply get along. Plus, some research suggests that when presented with photos from nature, humans naturally focus on animals instead of plants. Botanists even have a term for this tendency: plant blindness. Also, tight as a drum, a funny quiz about slightly altered Stephen King titles, sweet spot, lemniscate, kehrätä, mais garde donc, fourth-person pronouns, meronymy, shambles, semantic bleaching, opening lines of Turkish fairy tales, and the business end. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

Gift Horse (Rebroadcast) - 5 February 2024

The edge of the Grand Canyon. A remote mountaintop. A medieval cathedral. Some places are so mystical you feel like you’re close to another dimension of space and time. There’s a term for such locales: thin places. And: did you ever go tick-tacking a few nights before Halloween? It’s pranks like tapping ominously on windows without being caught or tossing corn kernels all over a front porch. Also, horses run throughout our language, a relic of when these animals were much more commonplace in everyday life. For example, the best place to get information about a horse you might buy isn’t from the owner — it’s straight from the horse’s mouth. Plus, shoofly pie,bring you down a buttonhole lower, didaskaleinophobia, pangrams by middle schoolers, Albany beef, using say as an interjection or attention-getter, a brainteaser inspired by a New Jersey grandma, and a whole lot more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 5 February 2024

Had the Radish (Rebroadcast) - 29 January 2024

Your first name is very personal, but what if you don’t like it? For some people, changing their name works out great but for others it may create more problems than it solves. And: at least three towns in the U.S. were christened with names formed by spelling a word backward. There’s a name for such names: they’re called ananyms. Plus, the Iowa town with a curious name: What Cheer. And: a brain game involving kangaroo words, had the radish, landed up vs. ended up, who struck John, English on a ball, whoop it up, affirming the Appalachian dialect, Sunday driver, and lots more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 January 2024

Orange Pigs - 22 January 2024

What do you call a segment of an orange? These juicy pieces of fruit go by lots of different names, including section, wedge, and carpel. But they’re also called pegs or even pigs! The stringy parts of a banana also have a surprising name. Also, we need a word to describe that productive period of wakefulness in the middle of the night before falling back into “second sleep.” And: anagrams that make a statement. The letters in the word “listen,” l-i-s-t-e-n, can be rearranged to form the word “silent,” and the word “conversation” can be switched around to read “Voices rant on”! Plus, gussie, phloem bundles, desahogar, dorveille, a “take-off” quiz, the wayback, ahogarse en un vaso de agua, different ways to say “You’re welcome,” hypnopompic, uto-uto, sockdolager, apizza, bobtail beats the devil, and just like New York! This episode is sponsored by NordVPN. Get your discount at https://nordvpn.com/AWAYWITHWORDS Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2024

Abso-Bloomin-Lutely (Rebroadcast) - 15 January 2024

The autocomplete function on your phone comes in handy, of course. But is it changing the way we write and how linguists study language? Also, suppose you could invite any two authors, living or dead, to dinner. Who's on your guest list and why? Plus, anchors aweigh! The slang of sailors includes the kind of BOSS you'd better dodge, a barn you sail into, and the difference between the Baja Ha-Ha and the Baja Bash. All that, and a brain game about body parts, conked out and zonked out, synonyms for synonym, ferhunsed, chronopaguous, nemophilist, sea-kindly, smithereens, and standing on my own two pins. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

Niblings and Nieflings (Rebroadcast) - 8 January 2024

How do actors bring Shakespeare’s lines to life so that modern audiences immediately understand the text? One way is to emphasize the names of people and places at certain points. That technique is called billboarding. And: Anyone for an alphabet game? A pangram is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet at least once. There’s the one about the quick, brown fox, of course. But there’s a whole world of others, including pangrams about Brexit, emoji, and a pop singer behaving, well, badly. Plus, sworping, agga forti, spelling out letters, the uncertain etymology of kazoo, larruping, the hairy eyeball, where the woodbine twineth, and a brain teaser based on characters that might have been in a Disney movie. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2024

Book Moth - 1 January 2024

If you skip wearing underwear, you’re said to be going commando. This bit of slang originated during the Vietnam War, when U.S. commandos had compelling reasons to do without that particular piece of clothing. Plus, Watergate salad is a mixture of pistachio pudding with whipped cream and pineapple. This dish was popularized in the 1970s, but what does it have anything to do with the scandal that brought down a president? Also: The practice of blurring out images or text in ads or movies helps avoid giving free advertising to a sponsor’s competitor. This strategy is called greeking, but why? The answer is Greek to us! All that, and buveur d’encre, clodhopper, a wild and wooly quiz, fantasy fiction, insure vs. ensure, live vs. stay, get outside of a meal,green goop, mean green, whale fall, and the long and winding etymological route of a name for “eggplant,” brinjal. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 1 January 2024

Kite in a Phonebooth (Rebroadcast) - 25 December 2023

Stunt performers in movies have their own jargon for talking about their dangerous work. They refer to a stunt, for example, as a gag. Across the country in Brooklyn, the slang term brick means "cold," and dumb brick means "really cold." Plus: the East and Central African tradition that distinguishes between ancestors who remain alive in living memory, and all the rest who have receded into the vast ocean of history. In this sense, all of us are moving toward the past, not away from it. Plus, the Indiana town that was named incorrectly because of a bureaucratic mixup. The town's name? Correct. Also, a brain game with words big and little, slushburger vs. sloppy joe, go fry ice, fracas, beat the band, sensational spelling, heavier than a dead minister, and telling porkies. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 December 2023

Takes All Kinds - 18 December 2023

Crossword puzzles are a marvelous mental workout. A delightful new book about them shares plenty of crossword lore and puzzle-solving tips. Also, performers who tell each other break a leg aren't really hoping someone gets hurt. The phrase stems from an old superstition that involves saying the opposite of what you really wish. And: is conversate a real word? You bet it is! Prepare for some serious conversating about this very useful term. Plus, the origin of quesadilla, kill two birds with one stone vs. feed two birds with one seed, touch base vs. touch bases, the different impact of short stories and novels, no te comas el coco, In bocca del lupo, You ate that haircut!, and a brain teaser about itsy-bitsy anagrams that'll leave your mind feeling pulled through a knothole backwards. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 December 2023

Strawberry Moon (Rebroadcast) - 11 December 2023

We asked for your thoughts about whether cursive writing should be taught in schools — and many of you replied with a resounding "Yes!" You said cursive helps develop fine motor skills, improves mental focus, and lets you read old handtoodlewritten letters and other documents. Also in this episode: finding your way to a more nuanced understanding of language. The more you know about linguistic diversity, the more you embrace those differences rather than criticize them. And a brain game using translations of Native American words for lunar months. During which month would you see a Strawberry Moon? Plus newstalgia, fauxstalgia, lethologica, by and large, pank, yay vs. yea, collywobbles, and carlymarbles. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 December 2023

Highway Robbery - 4 December 2023

Secret signals on the job: Waitresses at some 19th-century restaurants ensured speedy drink service by communicating with a non-verbal code. One server took orders, then placed each customer's cup to indicate exactly what the customer wanted. A second server could then whisk right in and serve the right beverage without asking. Also, the term highway robbery goes back to the 1600s, when armed robbers stopped carriages traveling out of town and ordered occupants to turn over their valuables. And what in the world is a nurdle? Plus, sun grin, John Doe and Richard Roe, a quiz that's twice the fun, too much sugar for a dime, Don't strain your milk, Stand and deliver, Tetrising, Your feet don't fit a limb, and Holy cow! Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 December 2023

Spill the Tea (Rebroadcast) - 27 November 2023

If someone urges you to spill the tea, they probably don’t want you tipping over a hot beverage. Originally, the tea here was the letter T, as in “truth.” To spill the T means to “pass along truthful information.” Plus, we’re serving up some delicious Italian idioms involving food. The Italian phrase that literally translates “eat the soup or jump out the window” means “take it or leave it,” and a phrase that translates as “we don’t fry with water around here” means “we don’t do things halfway.” Also: a takeoff word quiz, why carbonated beverages go by various names, including soda, coke, and pop; fill your boots, bangorrhea, cotton to, howdy; milkshake, frappe, velvet, frost, and cabinet; push-ups, press-ups and lagartijas; the Spanish origin of the word alligator, don’t break my plate or saw off my bench, FOMO after death, and much more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 27 November 2023

Dirty Laundry (Rebroadcast) - 20 November 2023

When you had sleepovers as a child, what did you call the makeshift beds you made on the floor? In some places, you call those bedclothes and blankets a pallet. This word comes from an old term for “straw.” And: What’s the story behind the bedtime admonition “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite”? Plus, when grownups are talking about sex or money, they may remind each other that “little pitchers have big ears.” It’s a reference to the ear-shaped handle on a jug, and the knack kids have for picking up on adult topics and then spilling that new knowledge elsewhere. Plus, a word game, lick the calf over, lady locks, when clothes become laundry, towhead, build a coffee, and more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 November 2023

Strong Coffee - 13 November 2023

During the late 19th and early 20th century, thousands of volunteers helped crowdsource the Oxford English Dictionary. This venerable reference work includes citations sent in by inventors, eccentrics, scientists and educators, an Arctic explorer–even the owner of the world’s largest collection of pornography. A lively new book tells their stories. Plus, a healthcare worker finds herself adopting the accent of her patients. And: golf terms that make their way into everyday language, from mulligan to stymie. Also, fossicking, noodling, handicap, I beg your pardon, paper tiger, Voy a puro pincel, TTWWADI, hail-fellow-well-met, dear me suz, and a pickle of a puzzle. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 November 2023

Keep Your Powder Dry (Rebroadcast) - 6 November 2023

Jacuzzi and silhouette are eponyms – that is, they derive from the names of people. An Italian immigrant to California invented the bubbly hot tub called a jacuzzi. And the word silhouette commemorates a penny-pinching treasury secretary who lasted only a few months in office and was associated with these shadow portraits. Also, if the words strubbly, briggling, and wabashing aren’t already in your vocabulary, they should be – if only because they’re so much fun to say. Only one of them refers to messy, tousled hair. Plus: wing it, versing, cock one’s strumples, keep your powder dry, and embeverage. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2023

One-Armed Paper Hanger (Rebroadcast) - 30 October 2023

The emotional appeal of handwriting and the emotional reveal of animal phrases. Should children be taught cursive writing in school, or is their time better spent studying other things? A handwritten note and a typed one may use the very same words, but handwritten version may seem much more intimate. Plus, English is full of grisly expressions about animals, such as "there's more than one way to skin a cat" and "until the last dog is hung." The attitudes these sayings reflect aren't so prevalent today, but the phrases live on. Finally, the centuries-old story of the mall in "shopping mall." Plus, agloo, dropmeal, tantony pig, insidious ruses, yen, and a commode you wear on your head. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 October 2023

Hair on Your Tongue (Rebroadcast) - 23 October 2023

If you speak both German and Spanish, you may find yourself reaching for a German word instead of a Spanish one, and vice versa. This puzzling experience is so common among polyglots that linguists have a name for it. Also, the best writers create luscious, long sentences using the same principles that make for a musician's melodious phrasing or a tightrope walker's measured steps. Finally, want to say something is wild and crazy in Norwegian? You can use a slang phrase that translates as "That's totally Texas!" Plus happenstance, underwear euphemisms, pooh-pooh, scrappy, fret, gedunk, tartar sauce, antejentacular, and the many ways to pronounce the word experiment. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 October 2023

Train of Thought (Rebroadcast) - 16 October 2023

Chances are you recognize the expressions Judgment Day and root of all evil as phrases from the Bible. There are many others, such as the powers that be and bottomless pit, which both first appeared in scripture. • There’s a term for when the language of a minority is adopted by the majority. When, for example, expressions from drag culture and hip-hop go mainstream, they’re said to have covert prestige. • The language of proxemics: how architects design spaces to bring people together or help them keep their distance. • Segway vs. segue, part and parcel, Land of Nod, hue and cry, on the razzle, train of thought, and a special Swedish word for a special place of refuge. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 October 2023

Space Cadet (Rebroadcast) - 9 October 2023

We have books that should be on every language lover's wish list, plus a couple of recommendations for history buffs. Plus: how did the word boondoggle come to denote a wasteful project? The answer involves the Boy Scouts, a baby, a craft project, and a city council meeting. Plus, wordplay with palindromes. Instead of reversing just individual letters, some palindromes reverse entire words! Like this one: You can cage a swallow, but you can't swallow a cage, can you? Also, squeaky clean, Dad, icebox, search it up, pretend vs. pretentious, toe-counting rhymes, comb the giraffe, and a Korean song about carrots. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 October 2023

Howling Fantods (Rebroadcast) - 2 October 2023

Are there words and phrases that you misunderstood for an embarrassingly long time? Maybe you thought that money laundering literally meant washing drug-laced dollar bills, or that AM radio stations only broadcast in the morning? • A moving new memoir by Kansas writer Sarah Smarsh touches on the connection between vocabulary and class. • The inventive language of writer David Foster Wallace. • Also ilk, how to pronounce Gemini, fart in a mitten, greebles, make over, sploot, to boot, a brainteaser, and a whole lot more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 2 October 2023

Pizza Bones - 25 September 2023

What's in a name? If your last name is Cook or Smith, your ancestors probably worked in those professions. But what if your last name is Pope? Or Abbott? Don't worry--there's an explanation for that. And if you have enough food for Coxey's army, you have more than enough to go around. The phrase refers to protesters marching on Washington more than a century ago. Plus, the debate over pizza bones: Some people say they're one of the best parts of the pie! Also, biweekly, shichimencho, piza no mimi, a Barbenheimer-inspired portmanteau puzzle, advice for writers of children's books, lax vowel lowering, zero-proof drink, spoken Garamond, and a catchy camp song. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 September 2023

Bottled Sunshine (Rebroadcast) - 18 September 2023

If you catch your blue jeans on a nail, you may find yourself with a winklehawk. This term was adapted into English from Dutch, and means "an L-shaped tear in a piece of fabric." And: What's your relationship with the books on your shelves? Do the ones you haven't read yet make you feel guilty -- or inspired? Finally, we're all used to fairy tales that start with the words "Once upon a time." Not so with Korean folktales, which sometimes begin with the beguiling phrase "In the old days, when tigers used to smoke…" Plus, excelsior, oxtercog, wharfinger, minuend, awesome vs. awful, Good Googly Moogly, and eating crackers in bed. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 September 2023

Endless Summer - 11 September 2023

Surf’s up! When surfers describe the waves as going gangbusters, it’s a great time out on the water. But why that word? Plus, a thesaurus of flavors serves up delicious writing about the taste of foods and spices. And speaking of flavors, the history of vanilla is anything but bland. When the vanilla flavor was introduced to 16th-century Europeans, it was considered a rare delicacy. So why does the expression plain vanilla mean unexceptional today? Also, funny street names, hoorah’s nest, mooch, a quiz chock-full of assonance, traffic-light sundae, lawn jobs, sleigh riding vs. sledding, burn my clothes!, copperosity, sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, and more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 September 2023

Care Package (Rebroadcast) - 4 September 2023

Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of World War II. They were from the Committee for American Remittances to Europe, the acronym for which is CARE. Also: Montgomery, Alabama is home to the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice. This profoundly moving structure commemorates the thousands of African-Americans lynched between 1877 and 1950 in acts of racial terror. The word lynch itself goes back another century. Finally: a tender term in Arabic that celebrates the milestones of life. Plus high and dry, bought the ranch, neighbor spoofing, afghan blankets, bumbye, gauming around, barking at a knot, and taking the ten-toed mule. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 September 2023

Cootie Shot (Rebroadcast) - 28 August 2023

Perfect sentences and slang that tickles your mind. A new book of writing advice says that a good sentence "imposes a logic on the world's weirdness" and pares away options for meaning, word by word. Plus, your musician friend may refer to his guitar as an ax, but this slang term was applied to other musical instruments before it was ever used for guitars. And: we need a word for that puzzling moment when you're standing there wondering which recyclables are supposed to go in which bin. Discomposted, anyone? Plus, tickle bump, dipsy doodle, dark as the inside of a goat, thickly settled, woodshedding, and ish. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 28 August 2023

Sticky Wicket - 21 August 2023

Is listening to an audiobook for a book club somehow “cheating”? Is there no substitute for engaging with the printed page, or do audiobooks adds a whole new dimension? Plus, a mocktail os an artisanal beverage without alcohol. Is there a more positive term that doesn’t imply there’s something missing? Also: dibbly-dobbly, sledging, and sticky wicket — the game of cricket has a language all its own! And a rhyming cruise quiz, congee, silly mid-off, hot dish, an irresistible newspaper headline, clean as seven waters, hold your peace, velar, conlangs, Howzat? and more. And a rhyming cruise quiz, congee, silly mid-off, hot dish, an irresistible newspaper headline, clean as seven waters, hold your peace, velar, conlangs, and Howzat? Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 21 August 2023

Ding Ding Man (Rebroadcast) - 14 August 2023

In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying clouds--with Latin names we still use today, like cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. Also: when reading aloud to children, what's the best way to present a dialect that's different from your own? Finally, recycling our trash demands close attention. Professionals in the recycling business say it's important to be sure that an item is truly recyclable. If you're only guessing when you toss it in the blue bin, then you're engaging in wishcycling -- and that does more harm than good. Plus, T Jones, diegetic vs. non-diegetic, affixes, solastalgia, and since Sooki was a calf. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 14 August 2023

Gleam in Your Eye - 7 August 2023

A remarkable new documentary explores the world of amateur and professional mermaiding and the language bubbling up within it. Some mermaiding enthusiasts greet each other with a friendly "Shello!" Plus, an adoptee wonders what to call the biological parents he found later in life. Bio dad? Birth mother? Or something else? And: street names that make you laugh. Do you really want to take a drive on Yellowsnow Road? Also, saucered and blowed, Eri ancora nel mondo della luna, metathesis, in-group vs. out-group family dynamics, out at elbow, ask vs. aks, because vs. as, and versus v. vs., and lots more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 7 August 2023

Take Tea for the Fever (Rebroadcast) - 31 July 2023

Silence comes in lots of different forms. In fact, says writer Paul Goodman, there are several kinds: There's the noisy silence of "resentment and self-recrimination," and the helpful, participatory silence of actively listening to someone speak. Plus, the strange story behind the English words "grotesque" and "antic": both involve bizarre paintings found in ancient Roman ruins. Finally, the whirring sound of a Betsy bug and a moth's dusty wings give rise to picturesque English words and phrases. Plus millers, keysmash, subpar, placer mining, dinklepink and padiddle, machatunim and consuegros, and to clock someone. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 31 July 2023

Alligator Mouth - 24 July 2023

Kinbank is a new database that illustrates the global diversity of family terms. English, for example, specifies sibling relationships with just one of two terms: sister or brother. But most other languages have even more specific terms. In Japanese, for instance, there’s a single word for “older brother” and another for “younger sister.” Plus, confused by all the names in Russian novels? Characters often go by more than one name, but there are strategies for keeping them all straight. And: why someone who’s pepper-nosed isn’t going to welcome that new pickleball court next door. Also, slide out on one’s ear, a game about life in alternate universes, Konglish, uce, how one’s accent develops, Du gehst mir auf den Keks, why someone who is heavily drugged is said to be snowed, and kangaroo words. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 July 2023

Sun Dog (Rebroadcast) - 17 July 2023

A clever pun can make the difference between a so-so phrase and a memorable one. The phrase “the last straw” refers to an old fable about too many items in a load, but it takes on a whole new meaning in a public-awareness campaign about the environment. • Why do we use the term mob scene to refer to an unruly crowd? • The Basque language spoken in the westernmost Pyrenees has long posed a linguistic mystery. Its origins are unclear and it’s unlike any other language in the region. • Plus: sundog, ob-gyn, double george, geezum pete, and somersault vs. winter pepper. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 July 2023

High Jinks - 10 July 2023

For many people, religion provides language and rituals for key milestones in life, from births to weddings to funerals. But what if you don’t ascribe to any particular religion? What words do you use to mark those moments? An uplifting new book suggests turning to the language of poetry to honor lifecycle events. And speaking of rituals, if you say rabbit, rabbit before you say anything else on the first day of every month, supposedly you’ll have good luck. But if you forget, don’t worry — there’s a remedy for that! Plus, kit bag question, petrichor, a puzzle about funny synonyms, waltzing Matilda, tut and tsk, gee whittaker, be-bopping, and If you don’t chance your arm, you won’t break your neck. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 10 July 2023

Oh For Cute (Rebroadcast) - 3 July 2023

A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a person or group. Originally, though, the word stereotype referred to a printing device used to produce lots of identical copies. • The link between tiny mythical creatures called trolls and modern-day mischief-makers. • The stories behind the color names we give to horses. • Wise advice about fending off despair: learn something new! • Also: grinslies, personal summer, cowboy slang, smell vs. odor, orient vs. orientate, trolls and trolling, and just for fun, some agentive and instrumental exocentric verb-noun compounds. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 3 July 2023

Coinkydink (Rebroadcast) - 26 June 2023

Sometimes it’s a challenge to give a book a chance: How many pages should you read before deciding it’s not worth your time? There’s a new formula to help with that decision — and it’s all based on your age. • Have you ever noticed someone mouthing your words as you speak? That conversational behavior can be disconcerting, but there may be good reasons behind it. &bulll A punk rock band debates the pronunciation of homage: is it OM-ij, OH-mazh, or something else entirely? Plus: chevrolegs, on fleek, hornswoggle, twenty-couple, coinkydink, and the correct way to say Nevada. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 26 June 2023

Spinning Cookies - 19 June 2023

A book of photographs and essays by famous writers celebrates libraries — and the librarians who changed their lives. Plus cutting doughnuts, spinning cookies, and pulling brodies: There are lots of ways to talk about spinning a car in circles on purpose. And if there’s gravel, well, that just makes it more fun! And if you’re faffing about at work, are you busy or idle? Also, Kushtaka, Cooter Brown, fafflement, a puzzle about homographs, toboggan, an inspiring letter from E.B. White, bags not!, the admonition be particular! and more. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 19 June 2023

Up Your Alley (Rebroadcast) - 12 June 2023

Book recommendations, including a collection of short stories inspired by dictionaries, and a techno-thriller for teens. Or, how about novels with an upbeat message? Publishers call this genre up lit. Plus, a clergyman ponders an arresting phrase in the book Peter Pan: What does the author mean when he says that children can be “gay and innocent and heartless”? And, if you spend money freely, you are a dingthrift. Also, waterfalling, pegan, up a gump stump, spendthrift, vice, cabochon, cultural cringe, welsh, and neat but not gaudy. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 12 June 2023

Just Skylarking - 5 June 2023

The art of the invitation can be tricky. An inviter’s idea of invitation may be taken by an invitee as merely mentioning an event while they’re nearby. One such a misunderstanding went on for months! Plus, George Saunders, winner of the Booker Prize, says some of the best advice about crafting a story comes from Dr. Seuss. And the icebreaker that doubles as a Dad joke: Do you live around here or ride a bicycle? Wait, what??? Also, stodgy, claggy, undertaker, a fill-in-the-blanks brain teaser, funny childhood misunderstandings, antimetabole and chiasmus, widow’s peak, skylarking, and why some people pronounce the word wash as warsh. Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email [email protected]. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 5 June 2023

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