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Traffic Neckdown

Like Bott’s dots and cat’s eyes, the word neckdown comes from the language of traffic flow regulation. A neckdown is an extension of a curb that widens the path for pedestrians and slows moving vehicles. Also called curb extensions, bulb...

High and Dry Meaning

Six-year-old Aya in Virginia asks about the expression high and dry. Her family member had worried about some relatives in the path of a storm, and phoned to ask if they were high and dry. This puzzled Aya because she had heard that it’s a bad...

2017 Words of the Year

Grant reviews notable words and phrases from 2017. One is path of totality, meaning the part of the earth completely covered in shadow when the moon blocks the sun. Another is milkshake duck, which arose from a tweet by Australian cartoonist Ben...

We have the results!

Help support A Way with Words broadcasts and podcasts by making a donation now. Dear friends, Last week we sent out a simple survey to tens of thousands of A Way with Words listeners and fans. Our goal: to find out your consensus on the state of the...