If you’re single but tagging along on someone else’s date, you might be described as a “fifth wheel,” a term that goes back to Thomas Jefferson’s day. Not until much later, after the bicycle had been invented, the term “third wheel” started becoming more common. This is part of a complete episode.
- Coast is Clear 04/24/2017: In the military, if you've lost the bubble, then you can't find your bearings. The term first referred to calibrating the position of aircraft and... [more]
- Sweet Dreams 04/08/2017: In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the... [more]
- Gone to Seed 04/03/2017: This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell... [more]
- Flet and Dray 04/03/2017: The words flet and dray (or drey,) refer to types of squirrel's nests. This is part of a complete episode. ... [more]
- Why Don't We Pronounce the B in "Subtle"? 04/03/2017: Why don't we pronounce the letter b in the word subtle? The word derives ultimately from Latin subtilis, meaning "fine, delicate," and was adopted into... [more]