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Facepalm and Headdesk

Hello, language-lovers — This past weekend’s episode is a delicious re-airing of a show from last spring, tackling great catchprases, Fibber McGee drawers, autocorrected text messages, annoying verbal fillers (“um”) and a...

Opposite of “Peas and Carrots”

Do pregnant women enjoy pickles and ice cream? Linguists from the American Dialect Society have been discussing this recently. They found that the expression pickles and ice cream once referred simply to the conjoining of two unrelated things, sort...

Word Births and Bird Words

Hi, ho! In this week’s episode, we discuss odd words, how children learn to talk, “in my wheelhouse,” “high as Cooter Brown,” and “good leather.” Greg Pliska metagrobolizes us with a quiz based on the 2011...

It’s in My Wheelhouse

What was your first word? Grant and Martha talk about how children acquire language. Also, if you say that something’s in your wheelhouse, you mean that it’s within your area of expertise. But why “wheelhouse”? And what does...

Throw the House Out the Window

Buenos! In this week’s archive edition, we consider alternatives to the word “retirement.” We also discuss “swan song,” “bike-shedding,” “tohubohu,” “criteria,” and how to pronounce...

Happy Palindrome Day

Happy Palindrome Day--or, if you prefer, "011110 Day"--from your friends at "A Way with Words"! Lots to report from Language Land: First, there are a number of recent full-length episodes you may not have...