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Preview: Double-Tongued Dictionary

A Way with Words



A lively radio program and podcast about language.



Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:51:59 +0000

 



Chocolate Gravy

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:43:00 +0000

Say you have an acquaintance you always see at the dog park or the playground. But one night, you run into them at the movies, and for a moment, it’s confusing. Is there a word for that disorienting sense of someone or something being out of place? Yes! Plus: the term sea change doesn’t have [...]


Media Files:
http://feeds.waywordradio.org/~r/awwwpodcast/~5/ng0SK5rBb1Y/161205-AWWW-Chocolate-Gravy.mp3




Animal Zoomies

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

What do you call it when your dog or cat suddenly turns into a blur of fur, racing through the house? Trainers and behaviorists call those frenetic random activity periods or FRAPs. Other people just call them zoomies. This is part of a complete episode.



The Cat’s Pajamas

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

The cat’s pajamas, denoting something excellent, arose in the 1920’s along with many similarly improbable phrases involving animals and their anatomy or possessions, including the gnat’s elbow, the eel’s ankles, and the elephant’s instep. This is part of a complete episode.



Snot Otter

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

A snot otter is a kind of salamander. This is part of a complete episode.



Joshing You

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

Why do we say I’m just joshing you? Was there a Josh who inspired this verb? This is part of a complete episode.



Wall Hole for Evil Spirits

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

A San Antonio, Texas, listener lives in a house built by his grandfather, who was from Finland. The house has a small window in an upper corner that supposedly was designed to ensure that evil spirits could escape from the house. He thinks it’s called a grum hole. Ever heard of it? This is part [...]



Book Recommendations

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

It’s book recommendation time! Grant recommends the Trenton Lee Stewart series for young readers, starting with The Mysterious Benedict Society. Martha praises Ronni Lundy’s Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes, a love letter to the cuisine, folkways, history, and language of Appalachia. This is part of a complete episode.



Sea Change Meaning and Origin

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

A sea change is a profound transformation, although some people erroneously use it to mean a slight shift, as when winds change direction on the surface of the ocean. In reality, the term refers to the kind of change effected on something submerged in salt water, as in Ariel’s song from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This [...]



Ponte

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

The Italian word ponte means “bridge,” as in the Ponte Vecchio of Florence. In Italian, ponte now also denotes the Monday or Friday added to make for a long weekend. Other languages, such as German and Spanish, also make a similar use of their words meaning “bridge.” This is part of a complete episode.



Pronunciation of Caribbean

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:51:47 +0000

Where does the accent fall in the word Caribbean? Most English speakers stress the second syllable, not the third. The word derives from the name of the Caribs, also the source of the word cannibal. This is part of a complete episode.