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

Hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett. Produced by Stefanie Levine.

About

Light-hearted conversation with callers from all over about new words, old sayings, slang, family expressions, and language change and differences, as well as word histories, etymology, linguistics, regional dialects, word games, grammar, books, literature, writing, and more. Listeners of all backgrounds can join author/journalist Martha Barnette and linguist/lexicographer Grant Barrett on the show with their language thoughts, questions, and stories: https://waywordradio.org/contact or words@waywordradio.org. Call any time toll-free 24/7 in the U.S. and Canada 1 (877) 929-9673 or worldwide +1 619 800 4443. Past episodes and show notes: https://waywordradio.org/.

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765 episodes

Mystery Date (Rebroadcast) - 8 August 2022

A librarian opens a book and finds a mysterious invitation scribbled on the back of a business card. Another discovers a child's letter to the Tooth Fairy, tucked into a book decades ago. What stories are left untold by these forgotten, makeshift bookmarks? Also: a "cumshaw artist" is the wily member of a military unit who knows the shortcuts of procuring something for all their buddies, whether it's food or a borrowed vehicle for the evening. Plus, a handy Russian saying translates as "the circus left, the clowns remain." Also, scroll the window down, case quarter, Johnny pump, getting on the binders, telltale sign, maximums vs. maxima, shm-reduplication, and a funny 19th-century saying about the local know-it-all. Wishing you many happy returns of the day! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Aug 08
I Don't Have the Spoons - 1 August 2022

Whether it's a Rubik's cube or a round of Wordle, why do so many of us find puzzles irresistible? A new book celebrates the allure and psychological benefits of brain teasers. Plus, powerful new language for talking about the chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities that sap a person's energy and focus. And what would you wear to a wet dress rehearsal? (Hint: You'll need a helmet.) Plus ditloid, eat a peck of dirt before you die, a game to make you sigh, apologizing to fellow drivers, how to pronounce aunt, why we call a qualifying race a heat, prejudice about dialects, and age-old advice about delegating responsibilities. It's so good, it'll make your tongue slap your brains out! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Aug 01
Sour Pickle (Rebroadcast) - 25 July 2022

You know that Yogi Berra quote about how Nobody ever comes here; it's too crowded? Actually, the first person to use this was actress Suzanne Ridgeway, who appeared in several movies with The Three Stooges. A new book shows that many well-known quotes were first spoken by women, but misattributed to more famous men. Also: a handy scientific word that should become mainstream: aliquot. And no, it's not a kind of hybrid fruit. Plus, an astronomical question: What's the collective noun for a group of black holes? A sink of black holes? A baffle? A vacancy? All that, plus Old Arthur, biffy, bowery, mikka bozu, Sauregurkenzeit, out of heart, vergüenza, and how to talk with children about a painful topic. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jul 25
Not My Circus (Rebroadcast) - 18 July 2022

Throwing cheese and shaky cheese are two very different things. In baseball, hard cheese refers to a powerful fastball, and probably comes from a similar-sounding word in Farsi, Urdu, and Hindi. Shaky cheese, on the other hand, is a slang term for Parmesan cheese, which many of us grew up shaking out of a can. Also, why is a movie preview called a trailer when it comes at the beginning of a film, not the end? And: if you want to say that something's not your responsibility, there's always the handy phrase Not my circus, not my monkey. Plus, cocktail party effect, all my put-togethers, bedroom suite vs. bedroom suit, Alles im Butter, pes anserinus, fastuous, bursa, bummer, and too much sand for my little truck. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jul 18
Excuse the Hogs - 11 July 2022

When a teenager went a week without talking as part of a school project, he noticed a surprising side effect: Instead of rehearsing a response to what other people were saying to him, he was focused on listening---and feeling smarter as a result. Plus, a flight attendant is irritated by a certain term she has to use frequently with passengers. Might there be a better word than de-plane? And how do you pronounce the name of the Show-Me State? The answers you'll hear are as variable as Midwest weather. Also, cryptic crossword puzzle clues, jabroni, Chatham House rule, railroad slang, dress the bed, nuces relinquere, and You can give them books and give them books, but they just chew the covers right off. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jul 11
Scooter Pooting (Rebroadcast) - 4 July 2022

Old. Elderly. Senior. Why are we so uncomfortable when we talk about reaching a certain point in life? An 82-year-old seeks a more positive term to describe how she feels about her age. And: a linguist helps solve a famous kidnapping case, using the vocabulary and spelling in a ransom note. Plus, old library books often contain inscriptions and other notes scribbled in the margins. A new book details an effort to reveal and preserve this "shadow archive" of the relationship between readers and the books they love. Plus, bus bunching, devil strip, fiddlesticks, scooter pooping vs. scooter-tooting, too clever by half, knucklehead, passenger, along with bet and bet bet and bet bet bet. We're not selling wolf tickets!  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jul 04
All That and a Bag of Chips - 27 June 2022

We tend to take the index of a book for granted, but centuries ago, these helpful lists were viewed with suspicion. Some even worried that indexes would harm reading comprehension! A witty new book tells the story. Plus, the Latin term bona fides [BOHN-ah FYDZ] was adopted into English to mean "good faith" or "authentic credentials." But there's more than one way to pronounce it. And: say you're off at summer camp, and there's a container in the dining hall labeled ort bucket. What will you find if you look inside? Also: crisp, with one foot in the milk bucket, a brain teaser about nicknames, French gestures, Dutchman, million-dollar family, dungarees, scared water, and nuking food. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jun 27
Gold Dance (Rebroadcast) - 20 June 2022

People who hunt treasure with metal detectors have a lingo all their own. Canslaw means the shreds of aluminum cans left after a lawnmower ran over them. And gold dance? That's what you do if you turn up something far more valuable than parts of an old beer can. Plus, a splendid new dictionary offers an in-depth look at the rich language of Southern Appalachia, from parts of West Virginia to Georgia. And why do television announcers greet viewers with the phrase "Welcome back" after a commercial break? Weren't they the ones who went away? Plus, coinball, bacon bats, Katzensprung, quote unquote vs. quote end quote, a quiz about synonyms, joke tags, dials and smiles, low sick, took a dump, and Get out of my bathtub! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jun 20
By a Long Shot - 13 June 2022

Imagine telling someone how to get to your home, but without using the name of your street, or any other street within 10 miles. Could you do it? We take street names for granted, but these words are useful for far more, like applying for a job or bank loan -- and they're a powerful record of who and what we value. Plus, a third-grader asks why the first episode of a TV series is often called "Pilot." And: the story of the word "dashboard," from muddy roads to computer screens. All that, plus nanomoon, not by a long shot vs. not by a long chalk, layoes to catch meddlers, proc, don't buy the hype, do it for the hywl, and a cheesy quiz flecked with puns. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jun 13
Familiar Strangers - 6 June 2022

This week on "A Way with Words": If you take up texting and social media late in life, there's a lot to learn! A 20-something wants advice getting her dad up to speed on memes, Instagram, and animated images. Plus, when you're on a long road trip, what do you call that one driver you keep passing on the freeway, or who sets the pace for your car mile after mile? Road buddy? Some call them Follow Johns. Plus, the linguistic reason why some people say "SANG-wich" instead of "SAND-wich." It's a mouthful -- literally! And: thalweg, stick season, quare, jimmycane, the many Spanish words that derive from the Nahuatl language, camera and camaraderie, cada chango en su mecate, a puzzle all about the letter E, the connection between dollar and Neanderthal, umarell, and menos burros, más elotes. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jun 06
Word Hoard - 30 May 2022

Ever wonder what medieval England looked and sounded like? In Old English, the word hord meant “treasure” and your wordhord was the treasure of words locked up inside you. A delightful new book uses the language of that period to create a vivid look at everyday life. Plus, a shotgun house is long and narrow with no hallway — just one room leading into the next. It’s an architectural style with a long history stretching from Africa to Haiti and into the American South. And: say you accidentally cut someone off in traffic, and you know it’s your fault. What’s a quick, clear way to communicate that you’re sorry? NO texting allowed! All that, and feaking, feather merchant, gradoo, spondulicks, echar un zorrito, tocayo and cueto, a take-off quiz, and an onomatopoeic Old English word for “sneeze.” 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
May 30
When Pigs Fly (Rebroadcast) - 23 May 2022

Don’t move my cheese! It’s a phrase middle managers use to talk about adapting to change in the workplace. Plus, the origin story of the name William, and why it’s Guillermo in Spanish. And a five-year-old poses a question that puzzles a lot of people: Why is the letter Q so often followed by a U? All that, and adynaton, an assonant quiz, do it up brown, salt of the earth, haven’t grown gills yet, wooling, a silly joke about the number one, a poem about regret, and hide-and-seek calls, such as Ole Ole Olson all in free! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
May 23
Cool Beans (Rebroadcast) - 16 May 2022

If you speak a second or third language, you may remember the first time you dreamed in that new tongue. But does this milestone mean you're actually fluent? And a couple's dispute over the word regret: Say you wish you'd been able to meet Albert Einstein. Can you regret that the two of you never met, or is there a better word for a situation over which you have no control? Can the word regret include simply longing for something? Plus, a sixth-grader wonders about a weird word on her spelling bee study list. It's spelled X-Y-L-Y-L -- and it's not just for Scrabble players. Plus, hot as flugens, to play Box and Cox, twack and twoc, a quiz for canine lovers, an eloquent appreciation of libraries, a widow's moving thank-you note, a punny gardening joke, a funny newspaper correction, and a trick with a hole in it. Cool beans! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
May 16
You Talk Like a Sausage - 9 May 2022

Do you refer to your dog or cat as "somebody"? As in: When you love somebody that much, you don't mind if they slobber. In other words, is your pet a somebody or a something? Also, for centuries, there was little consistency in the way many English words were spelled. But long before the printing press helped to standardize spelling, powerful historical forces were already shaping how those words looked on the page. Plus, Irish words that are as handy as they are fun to say: bockety, which describes something wobbly, and segotia, a fond term for "friend." And ship vs. yacht, rope vs. line, the New Yorker vs. the The New Yorker, evening vs. afternoon, how to pronounce hammock, a wild and woolly animal quiz, "talking cheese" in German, and an Iranian-American playwright on the challenges of learning another language.  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
May 09
Love Bites (Rebroadcast) - 2 May 2022

The word filibuster has a long and colorful history, going back to the days when pirates roamed the high seas. Today it refers to hijacking a piece of legislation. Plus, the language of yoga teachers: When doing a guided meditation, you may hear your instructor speaking in a kind of continuous present, with phrases like Sitting comfortably and Breathing deeply instead of the simple imperatives to Sit comfortably and Breathe deeply. These are participles with a purpose, and linguists have a term for it: the politeness progressive. Finally, why CAN'T you have your cake and eat it, too? Also: Book it!, the language of falconry, acronames, how to pronounce brooch,0, at loggerheads, a brain-teasing game for science fans and another one for gardeners, and the many meanings of hickey. And hey, Don't go visiting with one arm as long as the other! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
May 02
Pushing the Envelope - 25 April 2022

Sure, there's winter, spring, summer, and fall. But the seasons in between have even more poetic names. In Alaska, greenup describes a sudden, dramatic burst of green after a long, dark winter. And there are many, many terms for a cold snap that follows the first taste of spring: blackberry winter, redbud winter, onion snow, and whippoorwill storm, to name a few. Plus, the family that plays trivia games at home may end up cheering for their teen in high-school competitions. Also, playful prayers at the dinner table: Amen, Brother Ben! Pass the butter, let's begin! All that, plus retten up, push the envelope, with bells on, self-deprecating vs. self-depreciating, taffy pockets, pigeon pair, the end of pea time, a puzzle about pairs of words. Here we go, laughing and scratching!  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Apr 25
Lasagna Hog (Rebroadcast) - 18 April 2022

Understanding the varieties of conversational styles can mean the difference between feeling you're understood and being insulted. "High involvement" speakers interrupt or talk along with someone else to signal their enthusiasm, while "high considerateness" speakers tend more toward thoughtful pauses and polite turn-taking. Adjusting your speaking style accordingly may improve not only your communication, but also your relationships. Plus, when you read a text message from someone, does it seem weird if they use ellipses? And: a delightful new documentary about the World Palindrome Championships will leave you with just one palindromic thought: Wow! Also, boo-boo and boo-hoo, prune and plum, grass widow and widows weeds, a rig and a half, barefoot tea, funny names for birds, and a puzzle for movie lovers.  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Apr 18
Primary Colors - 11 April 2022

Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence still had to communicate about routine matters, from gardening to equipment repair. So they developed their own sign language, with hundreds of gestures for various words and ideas. Plus, how do speakers of different languages identify similar colors such as red, yellow, and blue in various languages? It's complicated! And: you don't really need those little rivets on your blue jeans, do you? Those flat metal disks are leftovers from an earlier time, when jeans were worn by mine workers and cowboys. There's a word for decorative elements that no longer serve a practical purpose: skeuomorphs. All that, along with butter of antimony, vein vs. vain, sugar of lead, euchred figs, two bits, mess and gaum, an apt nickname for a garbage disposal, and a quiz about family secrets! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Apr 11
Kiss the Cow (Rebroadcast) - 4 April 2022

An anadrome is a word that forms a whole new word when you spell it backwards. For example, the word "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts." Some people's first names are actually anadromes. There's the girl named Noel in honor of her father Leon, and the woman named Edna who adopted the name Ande. Speaking of names, know anybody whose occupation fits their name? Maybe a college administrator named Dean, or a breadmaker named Baker? Well, there's a name for that, too. It's called nominative determinism. Plus, a conversation about how hard it can be to gracefully end . . . a conversation. Also: a puzzle about famous names, Wellerisms, kaffedags and fika, a kissing game, moco, greissel, twacking and the plural of computer mouse. (Computer mice? Computer mouses? Computer meece?)  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Apr 04
Deep Fried Air - 28 March 2022

Eels, orts, and Wordle! Sweden awarded its most prestigious literary award to a book about . . . eels. The Book of Eels reveals the mysterious life cycle of this sea creature and its significance for famous figures from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud. Plus, what's an ort? It's the last bit of food left on a dinner plate -- and whether or not you finish it can be a matter of manners. Also, an audio puzzle inspired by the popular game Wordle. Harder than it sounds! Plus ginnels, twittens, nerds, Not on your tintype!, piling Pelion upon Ossa, things to say after a sneeze, and a poem about elevators. Ta-da! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Mar 28
No Cap, No Lie (Rebroadcast) - 21 March 2022

We take our voices for granted, but it's truly miraculous that we communicate complex thoughts simply by moving our mouths while exhaling. A fascinating new book reveals the science, history, and linguistics involved in human speech. And although you might associate the term paraphernalia with drug use, the word goes all the way back to ancient Greece and the property of a new bride. Plus: you're jogging through the woods and come up behind someone. What do you say to keep from startling them? Excuse me? On your left? What IS the opposite of Boo!? Also, inoculate, no cap, it's been a minute, doorwall vs. sliding door, asinble, a verbal escape-room puzzle, chimbly and chimley, intentional mispronunciations, inoculate, no cap, and the handy German word Impfneid, which means "vaccine envy." 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Mar 21
East Overshoe - 14 March 2022

Some people work hard to lose their accent in order to fit in when they move somewhere else. But others may be homesick for the sounds they grew up with and want to try to reclaim them. How can you regain your old accent? Also, a compelling book about scientific taxonomy shows how humans use language to try to divide up and impose order on the word. And Uff-dah! is an expressive word that means "Gee whiz!" or "Oy vey!" It's also handy when lifting heavy objects. Plus, pigloos, pine shatters vs. pine needles, channel fever, a quiz about common bonds, idioms involving stinginess, nicknames, possible baths, verbing nouns, East Jesus and South Burlap, and affirmative semantics with negative morphosyntax. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Mar 14
Lead on MacDuff (Rebroadcast) - 7 March 2022

For rock climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, the word "send" has a whole new meaning. You might cheer on a fellow snowboarder with "Send it, bro!" -- and being "sendy" is a really great thing. Plus: a nostalgic trip to Willa Cather's' Nebraska home inspires a reading from one of her classic books about life on the American prairie. And what do they call a sudden, heavy rain where you live? A gulley washer? A frog-strangler? Or maybe even a bridge-lifter? All that, and the flowery language of seed catalogs, rank and file, cut me a husk, I am sat down vs. I am sitting down, Lead on, MacDuff! vs. Lay on, MacDuff!, a hematological puzzle, and a popular Spanish-language refrain about an extremely long goodbye. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Mar 07
Herd of Turtles - 28 February 2022

Some college students are using the word loyalty as a synonym for monogamy. Are the meanings of these words now shifting? Plus, a biologist discovers a new species of bat, then names it after a poet he admires. The poet? Nikki Giovanni. Also, warm memories of how a childhood library card becomes a passport to new worlds. And: for a spell vs. cast a spell, thaw vs. unthaw, twice-cooked cabbage, a brain teaser in celebration of the great Stephen Sondheim, Dankie op'n plankie, right as rain, a turd of hurtles, a revolving s.o.b., and tips for writing historical fiction.  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Feb 28
Tribble Trouble (Rebroadcast) - 21 February 2022

In Cockney rhyming slang, apples and pears is a synonym for "stairs," and dustbin lids means kids. Plus, sniglets are clever coinages for things we don't already have words for. Any guesses what incogsneeto means? It's the act of trying to hide your sneeze while wearing a face mask. Also, how the vocabulary of science fiction influences our everyday conversation, from the tribble on your hat to vaccine development at warp speed! Plus unkempt vs. unkept, erase vs. delete, tribbles vs. pompoms, placid, meuf, a cryptic quiz, a tasty pangram, Barney for "trouble," earthborn, apple-dancing, dirtsider, one hand washes the other and both hands wash the face, and You must be holding your mouth wrong! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Feb 21
Mittens in Moonlight (#1586)

Need a slang term that can replace just about any noun? Try chumpie. If you're from Philadelphia, you may already know this handy placeholder word. And there's Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, and . . . The Bronx? Why do we add the definite article to the name of that New York borough? The answer lies in the area's geography and local family lore. Plus, an Australian bullfrog that sounds like a banjo? Yup! It's called a pobblebonk. Also: get the pips, down your Sunday throat, jubous, dinor vs. diner, stepped out of a bandbox, a Carl Sandburg poem, quemacocos, sirsee, and a punny puzzle about doing well. 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Feb 14
Ring-Tailed Tooter (Rebroadcast) - 7 February 2022

National Book Award winner Barry Lopez had wise advice for young writers. First, read widely and follow your curiosity. Second, travel or learn a foreign language. And third, find out what you truly believe, because if you're not writing from your beliefs, then you're just passing along information. And: if someone says they're going to plant flags at a gravesite, they may not mean what you think. That's because the word flag is also the name for a certain flower. Plus, if helicopter parents hover protectively around their kids . . . what do golf parents do? All that, along with in a brown study, pitcher-proud, ring-tailed ripsnorter, gleepers, clackers, a brain-busting take-off puzzle, thing like that and all, and there are no bones in ice cream. Ye gods and little fishes! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Feb 07
What the Blazes (Rebroadcast) - 31 January 2022

What kind of book do people ask for most often in prison? Romance novels? No. The Bible? No. The most requested books by far are … dictionaries! A number of volunteer organizations gather and distribute used dictionaries to help inmates with reading, writing, and schoolwork. Plus: For some low-tech family fun, how about egg-tapping? Traditionally played after on Easter, the game involves smacking a hard-boiled egg against an opponent’s. The person who ends up with an uncracked egg wins. And: Just how common is it to give a goofy name to a household appliance? Even your garbage disposal might get a moniker! Also, chelidon, knock the stink off, pony keg, pineapple posture, sprunny, wash-ashores, trailblazer, a punny puzzle about song titles, a Norwegian idiom that means “empty-headed,” a bagpipe serenade, and more. Dinna fash! 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jan 31
Mudlarking (Rebroadcast) - 24 January 2022

Twice a day the River Thames recedes, revealing a muddy shoreline. Hobbyists known as mudlarks stroll the surface searching for objects that have found their way into the river over the centuries, everything from ancient Roman jewelry to modern wedding rings. A new book about mudlarking describes the irresistible appeal of searching for treasures and the stories behind them. Also, why do performers whisper the phrase toi, toi, toi to wish each other well backstage before a show? And, what’s the plural of octopus? Octopuses? Octopi? Something else? Plus, schniddles vs. schnibbles, visiting vs. talking, fotched a heave, creature comforts, trade-last, a timely pangram, Doves Type, a brain teaser about malapropisms, 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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jan 24
Diamond Dust - 17 January 2022

Diamond dust, tapioca snow, and sugar icebergs -- a 1955 glossary of arctic and subarctic terms describes the environment in ways that sound poetic. And a mom says her son is dating someone who's non-binary. She supports their relationship, but still struggles to use their preferred pronouns in a way that feels natural to her. Plus, A Way with Words is a show about language, right? How the word "right" contains a multitude of meanings. And: echar un coyotito, voluntold, autological words, stay interview, eyesights and farsees, a brain-busting quiz about hidden words, nieve penitente, cutting cots, and rhyming ways to say a casual goodbye in other languages, like the Dutch one that translates as "Bye, umbrella!"  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 words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53m
Jan 17