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So, Paint Chips Ahoy!

Howdy from Wordville! In this week’s archive edition of “A Way with Words,” we talk about Mushroom Basket, Moose Point, and other wacky names given to paint chips and nail polish colors. We also discussed the origin of...

Expresso Dating and Dying Tongues

There are nearly 7,000 languages in the world today, and by some estimates, they’re dying off at the rate of one every week. What’s lost when a language dies? Martha and Grant discuss that question and efforts to record some endangered...

Hebrew Spoken at Home

Grant tells the story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, who revived the use of Hebrew outside of religious contexts. In 1850, no one spoke Hebrew as an everyday household language; now it’s spoken by more than 5 million people. This is part of a complete...

Jew-bonics

Jew-bonics  n.— «Consisting of self-penned compositions such as “(It’s Good to Be) a Jew at Christmas” and “Shiksas Are for Practice,” the duo’s songs have found favor with more than just fellow Jews. Tannenbaum...

God breeze

God breeze n. a commonplace epiphany or revelation (attributed to divine influence). Editorial Note: A similar word is theopneusty, meaning “divine inspiration” and coming from the Greek word for “God” and “breathe...

caravillot

caravillot  n.— «The government has built 351 prefabricated homes in Nitzan. The “caravillot,” an invented Hebrew word combining caravan and villa, range in size from 60 square meters (646 square feet) to 150 square meters...

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