709 episodes

Light-hearted conversation with callers from all over about new words, old sayings, slang, family expressions, language change and varieties, as well as word histories, linguistics, regional dialects, word games, grammar, books, literature, writing, and more.
Be a part of the show with author/journalist Martha Barnette and linguist/lexicographer Grant Barrett. Share your language thoughts, questions, and stories: https://waywordradio.org/contact or words@waywordradio.org.

In the US 🇺🇸 and Canada 🇨🇦, call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free 24/7.

In the UK 🇬🇧, 020 3286 5677. In México 🇲🇽, 55 8421 8567. 

Send a voice note or question via WhatsApp, 16198004443.

From everywhere, call or text +1 (619) 800-4443.

Past episodes, show notes, topic search, and more: https://waywordradio.org.
A Way with Words is listener-supported! https://waywordradio.org/donate ❤️ 
Want to listen without ads? Subscribe here! https://awww.supportingcast.fm

A Way with Words - language, linguistics, and callers from all over Hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett. Produced by Stefanie Levine.

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 2K Ratings

Light-hearted conversation with callers from all over about new words, old sayings, slang, family expressions, language change and varieties, as well as word histories, linguistics, regional dialects, word games, grammar, books, literature, writing, and more.
Be a part of the show with author/journalist Martha Barnette and linguist/lexicographer Grant Barrett. Share your language thoughts, questions, and stories: https://waywordradio.org/contact or words@waywordradio.org.

In the US 🇺🇸 and Canada 🇨🇦, call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free 24/7.

In the UK 🇬🇧, 020 3286 5677. In México 🇲🇽, 55 8421 8567. 

Send a voice note or question via WhatsApp, 16198004443.

From everywhere, call or text +1 (619) 800-4443.

Past episodes, show notes, topic search, and more: https://waywordradio.org.
A Way with Words is listener-supported! https://waywordradio.org/donate ❤️ 
Want to listen without ads? Subscribe here! https://awww.supportingcast.fm

    Animal Crackers - 13 May 2024

    Animal Crackers - 13 May 2024

    Images of birds flutter inside lots of English words and phrases, from “nest egg” and “pecking order,” to proverbs from around the world—including a lovely Spanish saying about how birds sense light just before dawn. Plus, how do you define “fun”? Outdoor enthusiasts divide fun into three distinct categories, the last of which is something you’ve tried once but never want to do again. And, writing and editing advice from the great Toni Morrison. Also, posing for animal crackers, madder than a peach orchard boar, placeholder words, memorizing poetry, racing for pinks, a tricky quiz about eye rhymes, I’ll be John Browned, footercootering, why some people pronounce both as “bolth,” and more.
    Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words
    Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email words@waywordradio.org. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation.
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    • 53 min
    Beside Myself (Rebroadcast) - 6 May 2024

    Beside Myself (Rebroadcast) - 6 May 2024

    The new Downton Abbey movie is a luscious treat for fans of the public-television period piece, but how accurate is the script when it comes to the vocabulary of the early 20th century? It may be jarring to hear the word swag, but it was already at least 100 years old. And no, it’s not an acronym. Also, a historian of science sets out to write a book to celebrate semicolons — and ends up transforming her views about language. Plus, one teacher’s creative solution to teen profanity in the classroom. Two words for you: moo cow. Also, demonyms, semicolons, neke neke, a brain teaser about the Greek alphabet, go-aheads, zoris, how to pronounce zoology, and everything’s duck but the bill.
    Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words
    Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email words@waywordradio.org. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Skookum (Rebroadcast) - 29 April 2024

    Skookum (Rebroadcast) - 29 April 2024

    So you’ve long dreamed of writing fiction, but don’t know where to begin? There are lots of ways to get started — creative writing classes, local writing groups, and books with prompts to get you going. The key is to get started, and then stick with it. And: which part of the body do surgeons call the goose? Hint: you don’t want a bite of chicken caught in your goose. Also, the nautical origins of the phrase three sheets to the wind. This term for “very drunk” originally referred to lines on a sailboat flapping out of control. Plus, a brain teaser about shortened phrases, toolies, linguistic false friends, skookum, how to pronounce the word bury, what now now means in South Africa, and a whole lot more.
    Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words
    Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Electric Soup - 22 April 2024

    Electric Soup - 22 April 2024

    When an international team of scientists traveled to a research station in Antarctica for six months, the language they all shared was English. After six months together, their accents changed ever so slightly — a miniature version of how language evolves over time. Plus, the esoteric lingo from another rarefied environment: the world of contemporary art. And where in the world would you find a stravenue? It’s a mix of avenue and street. Also, dingle day, booty, clambake, a quiz with answers that form a conga line of syllables, going to the salt mines, like death eating a cracker, daffodil vs. jonquil, helpful new books about language, I go to the foot of the stairs, and #30#.
    Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words
    Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Life of Riley (Rebroadcast) - 15 April 2024

    Life of Riley (Rebroadcast) - 15 April 2024

    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 lane is named after a family’s beloved horse. And: 50 years ago in the United States, some Latino elementary students were made to adopt English versions of their own names and forbidden to speak Spanish. The idea was to help them assimilate, but that practice came with a price. Plus, who is Riley, and why is their life a luxurious one? Also: a brain-busting quiz about synonyms, salary, dingle-dousie, strong work, a leg up, it must have been a lie, don’t get into any jackpots, and lots more.
    Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words
    Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Blue Dolphin - 8 April 2024

    Blue Dolphin - 8 April 2024

    How can you kick the verbal habit of saying you know and um so many times in a sentence? For one thing, get comfortable with pauses. There’s no need to fill every silence during a conversation. Also, a doctor who treats patients in Appalachia shares their colorful vocabulary. If you have a rising in your leader or a misery in your jaw, you may want medical attention. Speaking of ailments, have you ever suffered from warbler neck? Birding enthusiasts get it from searching for hard-to-find species perched in treetops. Plus, mouthfeel, pan-pan, inkhorn terms, Hollywood anachronisms, dout, Werner Herzog’s new memoir, an abecedarian puzzle, latibulate, agelastic, a word that means “to lick dishes,” ordering a blue dolphin neat, and more.
    Please fill out our listener survey! It will help us understand you, our audience, which helps make the show better! https://gum.fm/words
    Read full show notes, hear hundreds of free episodes, send your thoughts and questions, and learn more on the A Way with Words website: https://waywordradio.org/contact. Be a part of the show: call 1 (877) 929-9673 toll-free in the United States and Canada; worldwide, call or text/SMS +1 (619) 800-4443. Email words@waywordradio.org. Twitter @wayword. Copyright Wayword, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

Mehitchcock ,

Perfect friendly show about words

The host are incredibly friendly, and so incredibly enthusiastic about words! Each episode has a few little offerings of different new stories, or book releases, or something pertaining to the world of words, and then most of the rest of the show is responding to calls or emails either about word meaning disputes, derivation origin questions or usage queries. Every episode also has a really excellent puzzle. That is often easy enough to do in real time while you’re listening, but almost always gets increasingly harder so that you can’t quite keep up with it. But because the host play the puzzle live it’s something you can sort of play against them, the flow of the show is that they come from the polite culture where you keep saying buy it at the end of the call until someone gives up and since I come from a culture where you say goodbye once it’s agonizing to me to listen to everyone to jockey for final, bye-bye position

Joe The Butcher ,

Wholesome and Entertaining

I was lucky enough to stumble upon this show on my FM radio dial during the pandemic, and now look forward to listening every Sunday. A Way With Words is the perfect companion for your weekend chores or adventures, and you might even learn a thing or two!

emwatz ,

Laugh out loud education

Listening to a way with words makes me laugh with fascination. Wonderful show! Entertaining and curious inspiring.

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