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Zarf Hot Drink Sleeves

What do you call the cardboard sleeve that goes over a paper cup to keep your hand from getting too hot? A San Antonio, Texas, listener knows that the technical term for this sleeve is zarf, a word that comes from Arabic, originally denoting an...

Mudlarking (episode #1561)

Twice a day the River Thames recedes, revealing a muddy shoreline. Hobbyists known as mudlarks stroll the surface searching for objects that have found their way into the river over the centuries, everything from ancient Roman jewelry to modern...

Schnibbles, Schnippel, Schniddles

Barney from Carmel, Indiana, says his family always used the term schniddles to refer to e teeny bits of detritus left on the table after snipping paper snowflakes. It’s most likely a variant of schnibbles, a far more common term for...

Electrifying! – a Special Minicast from Martha

Hey, podcast listener! Martha here with a special minicast of A Way with Words. Today I want to tell you a story — and make a request for you to support A Way with Words. The story is about a guy named Luigi. He was born in 1737 in Bologna, Italy...

Tick-Tacking and Other Pranks

Monica says that generations of children in her Augusta, Kentucky, neighborhood would go tick-tacking, or playing pranks during the nights leading up to Halloween — soaping car windows, tossing corn kernels onto front porches, leaving flaming paper...