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Baseball Rhubarb

The sportscaster Red Barber popularized the term rhubarb, meaning a scuffle on the baseball mound. It has now expanded to various kinds of arguments. This is part of a complete episode.

Winespeak

Can a grenache really taste like strawberries, rhubarb, hints of leather and dutch cocoa, all over the course of a long swig? While it may sound ridiculous, it does pose the challenge: how would you describe a flavor? It’s not easy to talk...

Hold ’Er Newt

Hold ’er, Newt! This primarily Southern idiom means either “Hold on tight!” or “Giddy-up!” It apparently derives from the idea of a high-spirited horse. Variants of this expression sometimes add “she’s headed for...

Will The Rain Hurt The Rhubarb?

Stand back! Farther back! It's another newsletter from "A Way with Words." A brand-new episode hit the airwaves this weekend, in which we took a look at some of the coinages on Barack Obama's name, and at...

Parental Non-Sequiturs

A caller who grew up with 10 brothers and sisters recalls that whenever sibling squabbles erupted, her parents would intervene with a cheery, “Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?” The children were expected to respond with:...