May 06, 2015 04:29 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 May 03, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


5:32 PM - 5:37 PM April 30, 2015

S.O.S. – In Other Words, Help!


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM April 26, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


7:10 PM - 7:15 PM April 24, 2015

When It Comes to Money, Black Is Better Than Red


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM April 19, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


3:35 PM - 3:40 PM April 17, 2015

Early American Railroads Shape Modern Language


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM April 12, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


5:44 PM - 5:49 PM April 10, 2015

American Expressions in the Home


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM April 05, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


7:02 PM - 7:07 PM April 02, 2015

Expressions From the World of Bugs


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM March 29, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


3:38 PM - 3:43 PM March 26, 2015

Don't Panic!


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM March 22, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


1:56 PM - 2:01 PM March 20, 2015

Green Means Spring! And Other Things.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM March 15, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


7:38 PM - 7:43 PM March 13, 2015

'Beware the Ides of March'


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM March 08, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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


7:53 PM - 7:58 PM March 06, 2015

Easy As Falling Off a Log


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM March 01, 2015

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 February 22, 2015

Words and Their Stories

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

    Video S.O.S. – In Other Words, Help!

    Language, as we know, is always changing. New words are often created, officially and unofficially, without anyone knowing about them. Read on to learn a word that many Americans do not know. Here is a clue: S.O.S. is one.

    Audio When It Comes to Money, Black Is Better Than Red

    Colors come to the rescue when you want to describe a business that is making money or losing money. Judging from Jack Ma's smile at Alibaba's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange, he's making a lot of money. Also learn other useful banking terms.

    Audio Early American Railroads Shape Modern Language

    This week, we look at some train and railroad expressions commonly used in American English. This is only part one. There are many idioms and expressions relating to trains. So ... all aboard! Make sure you have your ticket because this train is leaving the station!

    Audio American Expressions at Home

    Some people enjoy spending a lot of time in their homes to make them nice places to live. This is called nesting or cocooning. From couch potatoes to cabin fever -- learn some great idioms that have to do with the home.

    Audio Expressions From the World of Bugs

    We have many expressions about bees and bugs in American English. Have you ever had a bee in your bonnet? Are you as busy as a bee? Read on to find out what these expression mean and how to use them.

    Audio Don't Panic!

    Actually ... seeing a Great White shark this close would be a great time to panic. Read on to learn about the Greek myth behind the work "panic" and some idioms. There is also a shortened section from "The Sea Wolf" by writer Jack London. He wrote one of the greatest panic attacks in literature.

    Audio Green Means Spring and Other Things

    Spring in the U.S. means the landscape is turning green. So, it's only appropriate that we teach some green idioms and expressions! Some may surprise you. Have you ever met a "green-eyed monster?" Is having a "green thumb" a good thing or something that needs a doctor's care? Read on to find out.

    Audio 'Beware the Ides of March'

    The Ides of March falls on March 15. William Shakespeare wrote the famous words, "Beware the Ides of March." But what was he talking about? And what has it got to with George Clooney? Read on to find out.

    Audio Down to Earth

    Some expressions about people who treat everyone fairly and with respect | Words and Their Stories

    Audio Top Brass

    Experts disagree about how these strange expressions started. But, they may have come from Britain. Leaders of the 19th century British army wore pieces of metal called oak leaves on their hats. The metal brass has a color similar to that of gold. So a leader or commander came to be called...

    Audio Is Your Plan Sustainable?

    Talk about business, agriculture, and growth these days usually mentions the quality of being sustainable. Find out the history and meanings of this very modern term in this week’s Words and Their Stories.

    Audio Let's Do Business!

    There are many special terms in the world of business. The following story is about a sweetheart deal which I made last week. I made the deal with a friend, and we both made a profit.

    Audio Has Fate Brought Us Together?

    Fate is a word that can be hard to understand. Fate, to describe it simply, means that something is meant to be. Fate is a word that has weight. It has power. When we say sealed one’s fate we mean a person has done something that has guaranteed a certain end result -- usually a bad one.

    Audio Are You in the Homeland Generation?

    After the 2001 terrorist attacks, we've heard the word “homeland” more often in the United States. Some are even proposing the word as the name for today’s generation of young people. But the word holds many different meanings around the world -- some positive and some quite negative.

    Audio I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

    Music fills the air. Colorful lights shine brightly in windows. Children and adults open gifts from loved ones and friends. These are all Christmas traditions. Another tradition is snow. In many places, a blanket of clean white snow covers the ground on Christmas Day, making it a "White Christmas."

    Audio Is He Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle or Pelznickel?

    Some of the many names of the short, fat, jolly old man with a long beard, wearing a red suit with white fur who delights children at Christmas | Words and Their Stories

    Video Salt Is More Than a Four-Letter Word

    On today’s Words and Their Stories we talk about a common word, a small word, but a word that is completely necessary for human life. In fact, without this simple, everyday material, all humans would die. Scientists know it as sodium chloride. We know it as salt.

    Audio Turkey: A Case of Mistaken Identity

    Many think the bird comes from the nation of Turkey. But turkey is not from Turkey. In fact, the fact that the turkey bird is called by that name is one big mistake. Find out in today's Words and Their Stories.

    Audio What's the Matter?

    From the very big to the very small, everything in our universe is made up of matter. Matter is one of those very hardworking words that you need to master ... no matter what. We will get you to the hear of the matter with this Words and Their Stories.

    Audio Don't Get Caught in a Catch-22

    You find a job you like. You ask for the job, but are told you cannot have it. The reason? You have not done that job before. That is insane, you think. I cannot get the job because I have never done the work. How can I ever do the work if I cannot get the job? And that is the catch -- Catch-22!

Learn with The News

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry (2ndL) meets with Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohammed (2ndR) and Somali regional leaders at the airport in Mogadishu on May 5, 2015.

    Audio Sec. of State John Kerry Visits Somalia

    Secretary Kerry is the first ever secretary of state to visit Somalia while in office. Also in the news, the so-called Islamic State claims responsibility for shooting in Garland, Texas; French lawmakers approve spy bill; Obama nominates Joe Dunford for Joint Chiefs of Staff chair. More

  • Audio US Senate Considering Bill on Iran’s Nuclear Activities

    This week could decide what happens to a bipartisan bill in the United States Senate. If approved, the measure would delay an easing of American sanctions against Iran. Congress would have 30 days to study a final nuclear agreement with Iran before the restrictions are lifted. More

  • Chief Secretary Carrie Lam is seen on a TV screen as she unveils the Beijing-backed election reform package’s details at the legislative chamber in Hong Kong, April 22, 2015.

    Audio Hong Kong Lawmakers Promise to Block Election Plan

    Democracy activists say they want more control over who will lead the city; mainland China has said it will permit a leader to be chosen only from a list of candidates it chooses. More

  • Braeside Meat Market Butchers in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Audio Johannesburg Gets a Taste for Japan's Kobe Beef

    Demand is rising in Johannesburg for Kobe beef. Top cooks and professional meat cutters say it is the best beef in the world. It is definitely the most costly. As its wealth increases in Johannesburg,so does the tastes of its residents. The beef comes from Wagyu cattle in Japan’s Kobe region. More

  • Volunteers created a a food bank for people in the neighborhoods that were affected by the Baltimore riots.

    Video Volunteers Aid Victims of Riots in Baltimore

    There were riots in parts of the city after a funeral was held for an African-American man who died after being arrested. The city is working to get back to normal after a week of violence. Volunteers are helping people in the neighborhoods that were affected by the unrest. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio 3-D Printed Device Helps Children with Rare Breathing Disorder

    University of Michigan researchers have develop what they are calling a 4-D medical device to help children with a rare condition. The device is designed for very young children and changes as their bodies grow. More

  • World Trade Center Reopening

    Audio The 25 Most Popular Cities to Visit in America

    Big cities and small historic towns top the list of most popular places to visit in America, according to the travel site TripAdvisor. Millions of users voted New York City, Chicago, and Charleston, South Carolina as the top three cities to visit in the U.S. Here's a look at all 25 cities! More

  • Video S.O.S. – In Other Words, Help!

    Language, as we know, is always changing. New words are often created, officially and unofficially, without anyone knowing about them. Read on to learn a word that many Americans do not know. Here is a clue: S.O.S. is one. More

  • Everyday Grammar - Double Negatives

    Audio Everyday Grammar: Double Negatives - Can't Get None?

    In this week’s episode of Everyday Grammar, we’re going to talk about two common types of double negatives. A double negative is when you use two negative words in the same clause of a sentence. Sometimes two negatives make a statement positive; sometimes two negatives form a stronger negative. More

  • Kate Chopin

    Video Athenaise by Kate Chopin

    Our story today is called "Athenaise" by Kate Chopin. Women in the United States long wanted to be independent. This classic American Story tells about a young married woman in the Bayou of Louisiana who questions her role as a wife. Can she have her personal liberty and stay married to Mr. Cazeau? More

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