January 27, 2015 01:00 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 January 25, 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.


10:23 PM - 10:28 PM January 23, 2015

Let's Do Business!


3:38 PM - 3:43 PM January 23, 2015

Making Sweetheart Deals, Crunching the Numbers and Getting a Bang for the Buck


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM January 18, 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.


5:08 PM - 5:13 PM January 16, 2015

Has Fate Brought Us Together?


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM January 11, 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.


10:09 PM - 10:15 PM January 06, 2015

Words and Their Stories: Homeland


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM January 04, 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 December 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 December 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.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM December 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 December 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.


8:00 PM - 8:06 PM December 04, 2014

Salt Is More Than a Four-letter Word


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM November 30, 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.


10:10 PM - 10:15 PM November 25, 2014

Turkey: A Case of Mistaken Identity


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM November 23, 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.


8:24 PM - 8:29 PM November 20, 2014

Learn Idioms that Deal with Matter


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM November 16, 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.


7:18 PM - 7:23 PM November 13, 2014

Words and Their Stories: Don't Get Caught in a Catch-22. You Will Never Get Out.


12:40 AM - 12:45 AM November 09, 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 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!

    Audio Words and their Stories: Boxing Expressions

    The sport of boxing gave us famous competitors like Muhammad Ali. It also gave us many expressions that have become frequently used in American English. Learn everyday expressions like "go the distance" and "throw in the towel" that come from the sport of boxing. | Words and Their Stories

    Audio A Halloween Special: The Devil is Everywhere ...

    Today we take you to the Dark Side. (insert evil laugh here) We teach expressions that involve the king of evil – the devil. Read on to learn how to “speak of the devil”, “to play devil’s advocate” and to ”make a deal with the devil.” | Words and Their Stories

    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

    Audio Are You Losing It?

    Americans seem to have a lot of concern about losing it. At least that is what you would think from hearing them talk. They use the expression when they feel they are losing control.

    Audio A Cup of Joe With Average Joes and Plain Janes

    Jeez Louise, don't be a doubting Thomas -- just sign your John Hancock and make Uncle Sam happy with these Words and Their Stories!

Learn with The News

  • Detroit Auto Show 42

    Video Cars Making a Comeback at North American Auto Show

    The 2015 North American International Auto Show took a test drive in the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. It was the first major international car show in the U.S. Automobile manufacturers from around the world presented over 500 models, gas, electric, luxury, performance and concept vehicles More

  • Japan Hostage

    Audio Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan over Military Plan

    Japan says the government is working with Jordan to secure the release of a Japanese cititizen. The Islamic State militant group is holding Kenji Goto hostage, but claims to have executed another Japanese hostage. The hostage crisis will likely increase divisions among the Japanese public. More

  • Audio Chinese Civilians Guarding North Korean Border Areas

    Chinese media have reported several beatings and killings near the China-North Korea border. They blame North Koreans for the crimes. To protect the area, media reports now say that Chinese authorities are asking civilian patrols to guard their towns and villages near the border. More

  • Audio Obama Attends India's Republic Day Parade

    Mr. Obama was the first U.S. president to attend the event, which celebrates India’s first constitution as an independent state. The election results are likely to place Greece in conflict with the E.U. and international creditors. Deadly violence in Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines website hacked. More

  • Customers drink coffee as they read newspapers at the Tamoka coffee bar in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, September 16, 2013.

    Video Experts Decide Ethiopia Has Best Coffee

    What makes Ethiopian coffee the best? International coffee experts travel the world to find the best tasting cup of coffee, however they keep returning to Ethiopia. The country has an export revenue of more than $840 million a year from coffee to 120 countries. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Is There a Better Way to Track Passenger Planes?

    New technology could help to more closely follow passenger airplanes, and find them when they crash; international group to meet next month to discuss changes. Airline industry leaders and regulators want to improve airplane safety. They want better, more dependable tracking devices. More

  • Obama

    Audio Has Obama Set the Message for the 2016 Campaign?

    “I have no more campaigns to run … I know because I won both of them.” Mr. Obama cannot run for president again – U.S. presidents may serve only two terms. But some observers say his most recent State of the Union message on the middle class sounded like a campaign speech. More

  • American Sniper

    Video With Oscar Nomination, 'American Sniper' Stirs Debate

    The movie is based on a book by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He is considered the deadliest marksman in the history of the United States military. The film explores how war can affect a soldier's mental and emotional health and stirs a debate on social media over its message. More

  • Designers work at computer stations at TechShop in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California, April 24, 2014

    Video TechShop Puts High-Tech Dreams Within Reach

    Members of TechShop use high-tech equipment to develop and produce ideas they have for inventions. Members are able to use costly machines including 3D modeling tools and laser cutters. Membership costs for TechShop start at just over $100 per month. | Science in the News More

  • .

    Video Rare, Important Art Is Now Only a Click Away

    The public has never seen the majority of works in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museums of Asian Art. Now they can be downloaded from the Internet -- in many cases for free. The Freer and Sackler Galleries worked for over 15 years to make digital copies of more than 40,000 objects. More

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