Home » forum

Tagforum

Noon of Night

As a kid, you may have played that game where you phone someone to say, “Is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it!” What’s the term for that kind of practical joke? Is it a crank call or a prank call? There’s...

Chicken Lights on Trucks

Those strings of amber lights on 18-wheelers are known as chicken lights. But why? Although the term’s origin is unclear, a participant in a discussion forum of the American Historical Truck Society suggests they may have been originally...

Welcome to the new website!

After months of work, here it is: the new A Way with Words website. We took a lot of things into account in the renovation, but the biggest category of considerations has been what you, our listeners and visitors, needed. We not only gave you what...

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Salvete! In this week’s archive episode, we revisit the musical language of railroad conductors’ calls, and chat with a Vietnam vet about a term he often heard while serving, “cumshaw artist.” We also talk about the influence...

Squeejawed Red-heads and Grockles

In this week’s episode: Just how far back could you go and still understand the English people were speaking? We crank up our trusty time machine to find out. Hint: You’d probably have a tough time getting around in the eighth century...