In "Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words," Phil Cousineau delves into the curious etymologies of words ranging from the seemingly straightforward to the utterly obscure. Cousineau joins us in studio to discuss the hidden histories and meanings of the 250 words profiled in his book. An author and filmmaker, Cousineau has published 26 nonfiction books and has 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.
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What do beat, bean, and leek all have in common with each other? Find out on this week’s episode A Taste of The Past where Linda goes into the history of food and culinary etymology with Ina Lipkowitz teacher of English literature and Biblical Studies at MIT and author of Words to Eat By. Discover the semantic shift in the word meat, the influence of the ancient Romans on plant breeds, and how much religious symbolism is based off food. Listen and become aware about how much food words have an impact on us. This episode is sponsored by The Hearst Ranch.
Simon Winchester discusses his book The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Why do spelling bees include such bizarre, obsolete words as cymotrichous? Why is New York called the Big Apple? Also, the stinky folk medicine tradition called an asifidity bag, the surprising number of common English phrases that come directly from the King James Bible, three sheets to the wind, the term white elephant, in like Flynn, Australian slang, and what to call foam sleeve for an ice-cold beverage can.