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Episode 1469

Gone to Seed

This week on A Way with Words: Restaurant jargon, military slang, and modern Greek turns of phrase. • Some restaurants now advertise that they sell “clean” sandwiches. But that doesn’t mean they’re condiment-free or the...

Episode 1467

Steamed Bun

This week: Do you ever find yourself less-than-specific about your age? Listeners share some of their favorite phrases for fudging that number, like: “Oh, I’m 29, plus shipping and handling.” Also in this episode: • Since ancient...

All Wool and a Yard Wide

All wool and a yard wide means “reliable and trustworthy.” The phrase was part of advertisements in the late 19th century, touting material produced by textile mills that wasn’t shoddy, which meant it was not made from the shredded...

Tenterhooks

To be on tenterhooks, meaning to wait anxiously for something, comes from the tenterhooks on frames used for stretching out wool after it’s washed. This is part of a complete episode.

Word Puzzle in Verse

Quiz Guy Greg Pliska shares a puzzle in verse, challenging the hosts to fill in the blanks with words that differ by just one letter. Like this: “I never count ___ when I’m going to ___; that method does not work for me. Right around...

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