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Episode 1603

If Grandma Had Wheels

While compiling the Oxford English Dictionary, lexicographer James Murray exchanged hundreds of letters a week with authors, advisors, and volunteer researchers. A new collection online lets you eavesdrop on discussions about which words should be...

I Dub Thee “Weak Coffee”

Listeners are sharing their favorite terms for coffee that’s weak, including warm wet, branch water, pond water, scared water, and in the immortal words of Ani DiFranco, just water dressed in brown. One listener has a friend in North Dakota...

Episode 1582

Salad Days

A documentary film called My Beautiful Stutter follows youngsters at a summer camp specifically for stutterers. It’s a place for finding acceptance, support, and confidence for navigating the larger world. And:, “The High Priestess of...

Take a Licking and Get Your Licks in

Paul in Camden, Maine, has adopted a new pup, and the dog’s exuberant face-licking has Paul wondering about the many meanings of the word lick, which include getting his licks in and takes a licking, which refers to the act of forcefully...

What a Strange Couple of Years It Has Been!

With your support, 2021 will be a pivotal year for A Way with Words. With your help, and by tightening our budget, through 2019 and 2020, we’ve managed to weather the pandemic while still increasing listenership both on the radio and by...

A Hitch of Work or Service

Alex in Bishop, California, works with an environmental nonprofit that partners with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. When his team goes out into the field for several days on assignment, they refer to that stretch of time as a...