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Preview: Double-Tongued Dictionary

A Way with Words



A radio program and podcast about language.



Last Build Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:23:18 +0000

 



Steamed Bun

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:41:30 +0000

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 times, people have hidden messages in clever ways. Nowadays, coded messages are sometimes concealed in pixels. • Uber-silly [...]


Media Files:
http://feeds.waywordradio.org/~r/awwwpodcast/~5/oDdTn5H_tSE/170320-AWWW-Steamed-Bun.mp3




Muffin Anti-Joke

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

The tradition of the German antiwitz or anti-joke includes a groaner that starts with a couple of muffins sitting in an oven. When one muffin complains about the heat, the other muffin exclaims incredulously, “Oh my god, a talking muffin!” This is part of a complete episode.



Kip Means Sleep

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

“Time to get kip” means “time to get some sleep.” Kip goes all the way back to an old Dutch word that means “brothel.” This is part of a complete episode.



Plenty Nine

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

A witty euphemism from our Facebook group for discussing one’s age: I’m plenty-nine. This is part of a complete episode.



Stir Crazy

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

A triathlete in Traverse City, Michigan, calls to say she’s going stir-crazy while recuperating from an injury. The term stir-crazy makes sense if you know that stir is an old synonym for “prison.” This is part of a complete episode.



Fudging Your Age

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

In a discussion our Facebook group, a woman shares her mother-in-law’s favorite expression for fudging her age. This is part of a complete episode.



Jeep Name Origins

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

A listener in Ypsilanti, Michigan, wonders how the Army vehicle called a jeep got its name. Answer: It was associated with Eugene the Jeep, a strange creature from the 1930s comic strip, Popeye. Lexicographers and etymologists find no evidence to support the idea that it comes from the words “general purpose.” This is part of [...]



Steganography

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

Steganography is the practice of concealing messages within text, digitized data, or other objects. The word derives from Greek words that mean “covered writing.” This is part of a complete episode.



Handful of Minutes

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

In Appalachia, the term handful of minutes refers to something small, as in, “She’s no bigger than a handful of minutes.” This is part of a complete episode.



All Wool and a Yard Wide

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:51:47 +0000

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 fiber of old scraps. This is part of a complete episode.