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I’m Gonna Cut Your Water Off!

A Kentucky listener wonders about the admonition I’m going to cut your water off, which she’s heard from parents disciplining a child, but might also used between adults. The phrase “to cut someone’s water off” has been...

Episode 1607

Old College Try

In just seconds, online text generators and chatbots can produce whole paragraphs of sophisticated prose. But what do advances in artificial intelligence mean for writers? What is lost and what’s gained when machine-writing replaces the work...

Episode 1580

Beefed It

The words tough, through, and dough all end in O-U-G-H. So why don’t they rhyme? A lively new book addresses the many quirks of English by explaining the history of words and phrases. And: have you ever been in a situation where a group makes...

Haters Gonna Quiz Quiz Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski’s puzzle plays on the phrase haters gonna hate to describe people who are just going to do what they’re going to do. Foollowing that pattern, for example, what phrase would you apply to those teens out there at the...

Cool Your Soup

According to Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, it’s important to master the basics of writing, but there comes a time when you have to strike out on your own and teach yourself. Also: Spanish idioms involving food, a conversation about the...

Gonna Snatch You Bald-Headed

Salutations and welcome! If you missed the last weekend's thrilling episode of A Way with Words, you missed car chases, gunfights, and your co-hosts leaping from high-speed trains! Alas, no. But there was a lot of chatter about the Ig...