Words and Their Stories programs explain idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand.
6:39 PM - 6:44 PM February 03, 2016
8:17 PM - 8:22 PM January 27, 2016
6:50 PM - 6:55 PM January 21, 2016
7:29 PM - 7:34 PM January 14, 2016
6:42 PM - 6:47 PM January 08, 2016
10:09 PM - 10:14 PM December 31, 2015
11:13 PM - 11:18 PM December 23, 2015
5:48 PM - 5:53 PM December 18, 2015
6:42 PM - 6:47 PM December 10, 2015
8:21 PM - 8:26 PM December 02, 2015
8:21 PM - 8:26 PM November 27, 2015
9:56 PM - 10:01 PM November 19, 2015
4:23 PM - 4:28 PM November 12, 2015
7:30 PM - 7:35 PM November 05, 2015
7:48 PM - 7:53 PM October 29, 2015
6:04 PM - 6:09 PM October 22, 2015
5:57 PM - 6:02 PM October 15, 2015
8:21 PM - 8:26 PM October 09, 2015
4:38 PM - 4:43 PM October 01, 2015
5:07 PM - 5:12 PM September 24, 2015
Many people love a big snowstorm, such as snow bunnies. Snow bunnies are not cute little animals that hop around on the ground. Some Americans dislike cold weather so much they go to a warmer climate to escape it. These people are called snowbirds.
People all over the world love to talk about weather. Today, we talk about expressions that come from extreme winter weather. Winters in the northern United States are cold and snowy. Sometimes, the snows come with extremely strong winds. These snowstorms are called blizzards.
It can be said that the United States is a driving culture. The U.S., after all, is a big country and many Americans love cars. What is life in the fast lane like? Find out and learn other idioms from the road.
Today we talk about a seemingly simple four-letter word: will. But do not be fooled. The word will is a strong noun and a powerful verb. As a verb, will requires you to do something. If you say you will take action, you have promised to do it with no excuses -- no ifs, ands or buts.
Words that rhyme are common in English. Nitty-gritty is both a noun and an adjective. New York City and other urban cities can be described as nitty-gritty, or rough around the edges. Read on to find out all the ways you can use this informal rhyming word. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty!
Anna Matteo weaves a tale about Words and Their Stories with a song about lost loves. Around the holidays, a man runs into a woman in the grocery store. They were once in love. They share memories together and then ... Here's Anna's story.
On your body, your Achilles’ heel is the tendon on the back of your ankle. In spoken English, your Achilles’ heel is your weak spot. You can say either “Achilles’ heel” or “Achilles’(s) heel.” Both are correct.
On today’s show, we will explore two words that come from one of the most popular Christmas stories made into a movie: “A Christmas Carol.” Writer Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1843. Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character of the story.
A bridge is a structure that provides passage over something -- such as a river, train tracks, a highway or a deep, wide opening in the ground. The expression “burning your bridges” means to act in a way that destroys any chance of returning to the way things were.
Fibs. Stretch the truth. Exaggerate. Make things up. Half-truths. Bend the truth. Outright lies. And out-and-out, barefaced or bold-faced lies. To be tangled in a web of one’s own lies … is no place to be.
The word "Shenandoah" is beautiful and mysterious. It almost sounds like a secret. Shenandoah was the name of a Native American chief. Today it is the name of a national park and river in the U.S. Learn the story behind this word. Also, learn some great adjectives to describe the beauty of nature.
Americans celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. Family and friends gather around the dinner table, eat a big meal together and say what they are thankful for. It's time to learn the expression, "Bless you!"
Some animals just are not as loved as others. There is a reason cute cat videos are so popular on the Internet and not, oh, let’s say cute snake videos. But they are used in popular idioms!
A fiasco is something that goes completely wrong often in a ridiculous or embarrassing way. It is dramatic and sometimes absurd. These are all important words when talking about fiascos. They are what make fiascos different from other types of failures.
Today we look at the usage and meaning of expressions using the word "hell." They are very common! Find out what happens to a snowball in hell. And learn which road to take to get to hell.
The belief that there is magical power in the metal silver goes back to ancient Greece. In the stories of other cultures, a silver bullet is the only way to defeat monsters like werewolves and witches.
All big events -- from weddings to military operations to school field trips -- involve logistics. Learn what this word means and how to use it against the backdrop of a famous event in U.S. history. Also learn the difference between the words "compliment" and "complement."
Enough horsing around! We finally stop floundering and deliver this week's program, even though it means scapegoating one of our own. Don't be cowed by the topic: these words are fun and will not outfox you.
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.
Wednesday, February 10, 1500 UTC: Dr. Jill Robbins and new intern Jessie Vo host.