Words and Their Stories programs explain idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.
4:38 PM - 4:43 PM October 01, 2015
5:07 PM - 5:12 PM September 24, 2015
4:03 PM - 4:08 PM September 17, 2015
5:54 PM - 5:59 PM September 02, 2015
6:41 PM - 6:46 PM August 28, 2015
9:24 PM - 9:29 PM August 21, 2015
4:18 PM - 4:23 PM August 14, 2015
5:08 PM - 5:09 PM August 10, 2015
8:46 PM - 8:51 PM August 07, 2015
4:32 PM - 4:37 PM July 30, 2015
4:05 PM - 4:10 PM July 23, 2015
7:18 PM - 7:23 PM July 16, 2015
7:45 PM - 7:50 PM July 09, 2015
8:19 PM - 8:25 PM July 02, 2015
4:34 PM - 4:39 PM June 26, 2015
7:19 PM - 7:24 PM June 19, 2015
8:38 PM - 8:43 PM June 12, 2015
5:16 PM - 5:21 PM June 04, 2015
12:40 AM - 12:45 AM May 31, 2015
Words and Their Stories each week explains idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.
9:45 PM - 9:50 PM May 29, 2015
Do you have an enemy? Hopefully, you don’t. An enemy is someone who hates you and you hate them back. An enemy threatens you, attacks you or tries to harm you. In some languages, there are different words for a personal enemy versus an enemy of war, political enemy or enemy of the state.
We often say, “You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends.” This expression means that our friends are the people we choose to have in our lives. They can be so important. This story teaches great ways to talk about the besties, buds and BFFs (Best Friends Forever) in your life.
The brain is a complex and amazing organ. So, it is only natural that the word "brain" is used in many expressions in American English. Check out this Words and Their Stories to learn some brain words. You will also learn a fun brainteaser to share with your friends and family!
There are many expressions in American English to describe the situation of not having much money ... or any money! Learn what it means to "feel the pinch," to be "up against it" and "to throw in the towel." With world economies entering bad times, these expressions could come in handy.
If you think being smart is always a good thing, think again. Smart has many meanings. Read on to find out what they are and the surprising origin of the term Smart Aleck.
In part two of our series on Latin’s influence on American English, we learn more Latin words and phrases. From popular movies to rock songs, Latin is used very frequently in American English.
Unless you pay for a new home in cash, you'll need a mortgage, or "death pledge." On second thought, the word "mortgage" sounds nicer. Find out mortgages and other "deadly" words.
You do not need to spend $50 million on a ticket to the moon. Just close your eyes and come with us to a trip into outer space! Learn idioms that will help you navigate the world of space.
"You're giving me the ...!" The jitters, the creeps, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, goose bumps, butterflies, and a heart attack ... you can give all these things to other people. Are they good or bad? Read on to find out!
Okay, on Words and Their Stories this week we look at one of the most commonly used words in the English language and maybe around the world. But language experts still have no idea where the word "okay" comes from. And that's okay.
We all forget the names of things. Well, don't worry! Read on to learn words for the words you've forgotten! American English has many interesting words for for those times when you just don't know the exact name of something, including ... wait ... what is it called again?
Independence Day is a huge celebration in the United States. People celebrate by having parades and picnics and usually end the day with fireworks. So what do some of these words mean?
Are you too big for your boots? Do you often fly by the seat of your pants? Learn what these clothing expressions mean and so many others. You may be excited to get started but keep your shirt on! Be patient. All you have to do is click on this episode of Words and Their Stories.
On the third Sunday in June, Americans take time to recognize and thank a special person in the family – fathers! Father's Day celebrates the importance of fathers, young and old, and the men thought of as father figures. “Like father, like son” is probably the most common father expression.
We wouldn't last long without our sun. So, it's only natural that we have many expressions that use the word "sun." And many songs are about the sun. Read to learn a couple.
There are mavericks in sports, politics, movies ... just about everywhere. But who are mavericks? Learn what the word “maverick” means and the very cool story explaining its origin in American English. Also, see a scene from the very popular movie “Top Gun" to see Maverick in action.
Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, learn words seem to fight themselves -- they are their own opposites! Well, depending on the context. Context is important when learning a language; but with these words, context is everything. Learn more about these Janus words and why they are called Janus words.
Horses are part of the history and romance of the Old American West. These days, they are popular for sport and entertainment. So, it is easy to understand why we Americans use so many horse expressions. Learn some of the most common and try to answer our horse riddle!
English is loaded with French words. Even if they mean something bad they sound so good. So read on to learn how to say them properly. Pictured here, French Actress Michele Morgan poses in a bathing suit at the 1st Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France in 1946.
For the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal to take effect, the agreement needs approval from national legislatures in all 12 countries. Completion of the deal is a major foreign policy victory for U.S. President Barack Obama. However, U.S. congressional approval of the deal is not guaranteed. More
The first of the 2015 Nobel Prizes has been announced. The committee awarded the prize to scientists from Ireland, Japan and China for discoveries that will reduce death and suffering. For one of these countries, it is a first-ever win. More
Western military experts have studied video recordings and said Russia is mostly using unguided, or dumb, bombs. Experts say such weapons greatly increase the risk of damage and death in civilian areas. Russia began the airstrikes September 30. More
The aid group Doctors Without Borders says at least 22 people died in the attack in Kunduz. Afghan officials say Taliban fighters were hiding in a hospital and on its grounds. But the Taliban and Doctors Without Borders say that is not true. More
Marine reserves are special places offer great opportunities to see rare and abundant sea creatures and environments. The Kermedec Sanctuary will cover 620 thousand square kilometers of largely clean ocean. It will be one of the largest marine reserves to protect wildlife in the South Pacific. More
Do you have an enemy? Hopefully, you don’t. An enemy is someone who hates you and you hate them back. An enemy threatens you, attacks you or tries to harm you. In some languages, there are different words for a personal enemy versus an enemy of war, political enemy or enemy of the state. More
When we want to compare things we use comparative and superlative forms. Find out some of rules and exceptions of these important forms in Everyday Grammar for this week. More
Hollywood's latest space operation gone wrong movie stars Matt Damon as an astronaut mistakenly left on Mars. The film is a hit with movie critics. But what do science critics think? More
We continue the story of “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane. As we told you last week, the story is based on true events. In eighteen ninety-six, Crane was traveling to Cuba as a news reporter. On his way there, his ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Crane climbed into the last remaining lifeboat. More
The Great Barrier Reef is off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia. It is the largest living organism on Earth. However, the reef is being damaged by climate change and pollutants from farms that flow into the reef. More
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