podictionary - the podcast for word lovers

podictionary - the podcast for word lovers

Latest Episodes

bamboozle – podictionary 230
August 23, 2010

A rerun podcast from 2006 This word highlights the dangers of electronic media. I looked up bamboozled in the Oxford English Dictionary online, that's where the draft third edition can be found. There is a verb to bamboozle and a noun bamboozle so I cl

hyena – podictionary 250
August 18, 2010

From 2006 Some listeners have been asking for words that arose from languages other than Latin.  I chose hyena out of the blue, thinking, that's likely to be African isn't it? Which just goes to show how hard it is to get away from Latin and Greek root

proclivity – podictionary 249
August 17, 2010

A repeat episode from May 2006  I got the idea for this word of the day from reading more about the Oxford English Corpus, that dictionary maker's tool said to have a billion words in its database. One of the things that lexicographers have been able t

mall – podictionary 265
August 10, 2010

From June 2006 The podictionary word for today is “mall”:  I'm not a mall person, but of course every now and then I need to go to the mall to buy something.  Would you have suspected that the word we use to describe this collection of stores origi

umpire – podictionary 245
August 09, 2010

An old episode from May 2006 The other day I mentioned that Richard Lederer had brought up a word with an interesting background and "umpire" is the word. An umpire is of course the official who enforces the rules in baseball and a number of other sport

train – podictionary 241
August 05, 2010

A rerun from May 2006 I can think of three meanings for the word train right off the top of my head. There is the train that people might ride on either to go to work every day or when traveling around Europe. There's the training that takes place in

pale – podictionary 240
August 04, 2010

From April 30, 2006... I find in the Oxford English Dictionary that there are ten words pale spelled pale.  None of them are a bucket, which would be spelled pail. One at least is short for pale ale, so that's okay, but I want to talk about the one tha

astonished – podictionary 239
August 03, 2010

A rerun from 2006 If I am doing a good job at podictionary I hope that I've astonished you with some of my unexpected histories of words you thought you already knew. Well, at least I hope I have astonished you in the modern sense, not in the sense the

focus – podictionary 238
July 30, 2010

A repeat episode from April 2006. Right around the time when Shakespeare was alive there was another guy in Germany by the name of Johannes Kepler. He was quite the guy. Wikipedia tells me that he wrote science fiction.  He must have put his imaginati

bedlam – podictionary 237
July 27, 2010

Again from 2006 - This is a fairly well known story due to a great book that I'll mention later. In the year of our lord 1247, in the City of London was founded the priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem. As a rich person might do now for tax purposes, the lan