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Here you’ll find full episodes of public radio’s A Way with Words, heard on NPR stations around the United States. Looking for something you heard on the show? Try the search page. You can also listen to all episodes on a single playlist and download episodes from that page.

Nosy Parkers and Butternuts (minicast)

Grant goes through the mailbag, offering answers about the terms “nosy parker,” “out of pocket,” and about whether the word “falsehood” has its origins in medieval garb. He also throws a question out to listeners...

The Blue Bark Mystery (minicast)

A caller asks a delicate question about the phrase “blue bark shipment,” a term involving the transport of deceased members of the military. Martha and Grant discuss this puzzling expression and the challenge of tracking down its...

Let’s Blow This Joint (minicast)

A caller sends Grant and Martha off on a slang-infested trip about ways of saying a fast good-bye. Listen as they blow pop, popcorn, and taco stands by way of author Jim Harrison, the comic strip Funky Winkerbean, and a Warhol hanger-on.

Hey, That’s Mine! (minicast)

When you were a child and wanted to lay claim to something, what did you say? Did you call “dibs”? Or “hosey” it? A caller is curious about another verb used in such situations: “finnie.” Grant explains this...