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Episode 1578

Today I Learned

Youngsters want to know: What’s the difference between barely and nearly, and what’s so clean about a whistle, anyway? Plus, adults recount some misunderstandings from when they were knee-high to a grasshopper. Kids do come up with some...


What exactly is gobbledygook, and where does the word come from? Texas Congressman Maury Maverick coined the word in 1944 to describe the frustrating jargon used by policymakers in Washington. It reminded him of the sound of turkeys gobbling...

Eating the Frog

Do you start each day by "eating the frog"? Don't answer too quickly -- maybe you do and don't know it. "Eat the frog" means to do the most distasteful thing first. Imagine you were lost in the jungle and all...

Of Pupae and Pupils

A question from a listener on the A Way with Words Facebook page has Martha musing about the entomological and etymological connections between the word pupil and the pupal stage of an insect’s life.