A teacher of English as a second language asks our Facebook group to name some unusual words for ordinary things. The group’s suggestions include winklehawk, which means an L-shaped tear in cloth, and diastema, which means a gap between one’s teeth. In his 1926 book History in English Words, Owen Barfield offers this lyrical observation about etymology: “Words may be made to disgorge the past that is bottled up inside them, as coal and wine, when we kindle or drink them, yield up their bottled sunshine.” This is part of a complete episode.
- Life of Riley (episode #1533) 10/07/2019: Unwrap the name of a candy bar, and you just might find a story inside. For instance, one chewy treat found in many a checkout... [more]
- Off the Turnip Truck (episode #1532) 09/23/2019: It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the phone. Alexander Graham... [more]
- Loaded for Bear (episode #1531) 09/16/2019: One way to make your new business look trendy is to use two nouns separated by an ampersand, like Peach & Creature or Rainstorm &... [more]
- Mrs. Astor’s Horse (episode #1530) 07/29/2019: "What has a head like a cat, feet like a cat, a tail like a cat, but isn't a cat?" Answer: a kitten! A 1948... [more]
- At First Blush (episode #1529) 07/15/2019: Book recommendations and the art of apology. Martha and Grant share some good reads, including an opinionated romp through English grammar, a Spanish-language adventure novel,... [more]