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Guess What

English is full of unusual terms, both old (eleemosynary, favonian) and new (flyaway, catio). Also, the Swahili term that means “sleep like a log,” the multiple meanings of the word joint, cowpies and horse biscuits, what it means to...

Take Two Languages and Call Me In the Morning

Rabbit, rabbit! In this week’s archive episode: What’s in a pet’s name? Also, stump-jumpers, snicklefritzes, and the last word in the dictionary. Is it “zyzzyva” or “zyxt”? Suffonsify yourself here: A caller...

iPuzzle

This week’s word puzzle from Quiz Guy Greg Pliska involves taking a word, adding an “i” to the beginning, as if creating an Apple product, to get an entirely new word. For instance: “This is how Steve Jobs begins a card game...

Zaprudering

Grant talks about the new slang term, zaprudering, as in “The fanboys get off on zaprudering the invite to the Apple product-release press conference.” This is part of a complete episode.

kill step

kill step  n.— «Threatened with a federal shutdown, the pie maker, ConAgra Foods, began spot-checking the vegetables for pathogens, but could not find the culprit. It also tried cooking the vegetables at high temperatures, a strategy the...

Apple Core, Baltimore, Forevermore

Hey! It's another newsletter from "A Way with Words," which this week was called "entertainingly erudite" by William Safire in the New York Times. Suh-weet! Our latest erudition came in the form of talk about "apple...

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