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The One Who Brung You

You’ve been reading a book but you’re just not into it. How do you quit it, guilt-free? How do you break up with a book? Also, what do you ask for when you go through the grocery checkout line: bag, sack, or something else? Plus, brung...

Pinstriped Cookie-Pushers

We got a call from Sarah in Dresden, Germany, who’s applying to work for the State Department as foreign service officer. She was curious about an article that contained the term pinstriped cookie-pusher. According to William Safire’s...

Suspend vs. End a Campaign

Why do politicians say they’re going to suspend a campaign? Aren’t they really just ending it? Under Federal Election Commission funding regulations, politicians can continue to collect money for paying off campaign fees well after an...

The Uncanny Valley

The disturbing sensation you feel when almost-human characters seem downright creepy is called the uncanny valley. Speaking of creepy, do you know someone with a morbid fear of clowns? There’s a term for that, too. Why do politicians suspend a...

Double-Tongued Dictionary and A Way with Words

The New Home of Double-Tongued Dictionary

Starting today, the Double-Tongued Dictionary is now a part of A Way with Words! That means that more than 18,000 dictionary records are now at home here and searchable from the top of every page. These are undocumented or under-documented words...

Get Your Tail Out of the Gravy

Greetings, word watchers! In this week's episode, we talk about "making money hand over fist," "don't take any wooden nickels," "peter out," "thrice-happy pair," colorful idioms from around the...

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