October 26, 2014 05:56 UTC

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM October 26, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM October 19, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM October 12, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM October 05, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


1:49 PM - 1:54 PM October 02, 2014

You Don't Have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Understand This Story


1:37 PM - 1:42 PM October 02, 2014

Are you Chicken-Livered? Or Are You a Lame Duck?


1:09 PM - 1:14 PM October 02, 2014

Hey, I'm Workin' for Chickenfeed Here!


12:40 PM - 12:45 PM October 02, 2014

Wildcats: Congressmen, Money, Oil Wells and Strikers


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM September 28, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM September 21, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


4:30 PM - 4:35 PM September 19, 2014

Goodbye Dear Readers: This Is My Swan Song! My Last Hurrah!


4:26 PM - 4:31 PM September 19, 2014


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM September 14, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM September 07, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


1:02 PM - 1:07 PM September 05, 2014

Goodbye Dear Readers: This Is My Swan Song! My Last Hurrah!


1:01 PM - 1:06 PM September 05, 2014

Rollin' Stone, The Rolling Stones, Like a Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone


1:00 PM - 1:05 PM September 05, 2014


12:58 PM - 1:03 PM September 05, 2014

A Cup of Joe With Average Joes and Plain Janes


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM August 31, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM August 24, 2014

Words and Their Stories

Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.

    Audio You Don't Have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Read This

    "You do not need to be a rocket scientist." Americans hear these words often. People say them in schools, offices and factories. Broadcasters on radio and television use them. How did the expression begin? No one seems to know for sure. But you can find out by reading this Words and Their Stories.

    Audio Baseball Terms

    Baseball is America’s national sport. So it is not unusual that many popular expressions come from baseball. But first, let me explain a little about the game. Each baseball team has nine players. The pitcher of one team throws the ball to a batter from the other team.

    Audio Birds and Their Stories

    American English is stuffed full of expressions about birds. Oh this story is a real feather in my cap. See? I told you! | Words and Their Stories

    Audio Hey, I'm Workin' for Chickenfeed Here!

    Americans, like people in other countries, always want more money. One way they express this is by protesting that their jobs do not pay enough. A common expression is, "I am working for chickenfeed." | Words and Their Stories

    Audio Wildcats: Congressmen, Money, Oil Wells and Strikers

    Americans use the names of animals in many ways | Words and Their Stories

    Audio This 'Swan Song' Is My 'Last Hurrah'

    The expression "swan song" has long been a part of the English language. At first, "swan song" meant the last work of a poet, musician or writer. Now, it means the final effort of any person. | Words and Their Stories

    Audio 'A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss'

    How an old proverb led to two songs, a popular rock and roll band and a magazine | Words and Their Stories

Learn with The News

  • Anti-Occupy Central protesters (L) try to remove a barricade from pro-democracy protesters on a main street in Hong Kong's Mongkok shopping district October 4, 2014.

    Audio US Group Rejects Claims It Incited Hong Kong Protests

    Chinese media have been criticizing the National Endowment for Democracy. They accuse the US-based group of providing money to and advising the “Occupy” street protest movement. The group says it takes part in normal cooperation with civic groups in Hong Kong. But it says it has nothing to hide. More

  • A rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon ship lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, April 18, 2014.

    Audio You Don't Have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Read This

    "You do not need to be a rocket scientist." Americans hear these words often. People say them in schools, offices and factories. Broadcasters on radio and television use them. How did the expression begin? No one seems to know for sure. But you can find out by reading this Words and Their Stories. More

  • Audio Control of US Senate Depends on North Carolina

    U.S. congressional elections are less than two weeks away. A small number of races will decide if the Democratic party keeps control of the U.S. Senate or if Republicans will have a majority. One of the closest Senate races is in the state of North Carolina between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis. More

  • Freed Vietnamese dissident Nguyen Van Hai (L) is greeted upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport on October  21, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  The Vietnamese blogger, also known by his pen name "Dieu Cay," was handed a 12-year prison sentenc

    Audio Legality of Vietnamese Blogger’s Release Questioned

    Nguyen Van Hai arrived in the United States on Wednesday. Hai is one of Vietnam’s best known political bloggers. He has written about government corruption and the country’s territorial dispute with China. The United States was among several foreign governments to call for his release. More

  • A miner sifts through dirt for gold flakes at the Atunso Cocoase small-scale mine, Atunsu, Ghana, Oct. 16, 2014. (Chris Stein/VOA)

    Audio Gold Mining in Ghana Can Be Dangerous

    Small mining operations are a common sight in central Ghana. Here, mine workers dig deep into the earth in search of bullion. But not everyone returns alive. Earlier this year, six miners were killed when an earthen wall collapsed in Kyekyewere, a village in the Ashanti Region. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Oscar de la Renta Dressed First Ladies and Movie Stars

    Clothing designer Oscar de la Renta died Monday at his home in the American state of Connecticut. He was 82 years old. His wife said he died of problems related to cancer. Mr. de la Renta dressed American movie stars and first ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton. More

  • Audio Iron Ships Clash at Sea

    The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation More

  • Audio San Francisco Radio Stations Ban Lorde's 'Royals'

    The California baseball team, San Francisco Giants, is playing the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball championship, the World Series. Two radio stations in San Francisco banned the hit song "Royals." In return, another station in Kansas City chose to play the song once every hour. More

  • A neurovascular unit on a chip being developed by Vanderbilt University researchers. (Vanderbilt University Photo/John Wikswo)

    Video Scientists Design Chips to Act Like Human Organs

    Testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness is a costly process in the United States. It also can take a lot of time. Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs. The scientists think they have found a way to make the process faster and more economical. More

  • Brain Resource Infographic

    Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

    Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report More

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