Feb 28, 2013 — From "dead cat bounce," which originated in the 1980s, to "cold fish," which was coined by Shakespeare, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms explores the origins of more than 10,000 nonliteral sayings.
Jan 15, 2013 — In Words From the White House, linguist Paul Dickson looks at the ways presidents have used the office to create and shape American language. Presidents, Dickson says, must be eloquent and spontaneous, but they also need to communicate in a way that gives listeners something to latch onto.
Mar 13, 2012 — Sky looking a little slatchy to you? Want another helping of slang-jang? The final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English, a 50-year project to document English across the U.S., is a treasure trove of history and local color.
Nov 20, 2010 — Everybody says it dozens of times every day — from its Boston birthplace to the farthest reaches of Earth. It's the word "OK" — the subject of the new book OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word. Author Allan Metcalf says it embodies America's can-do philosophy in just two letters.
Dec 11, 2006 — It's the time of the year again when we're thinking about what gifts we might give to our family and friends. To our book guide Alan Cheuse, of course, "gift" means "books." Here are some of his recommendations.
Nov 16, 2006 — A group of writers has collected more than 800 fading landscape terms in a new book — Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape— in hopes of keeping them from going extinct.
Nov 16, 2006 — Poets and writers come together to preserve words describing the American landscape in an excerpt from the book Home Ground, edited by Barry Lopez.
Oct 25, 2006 — What's a "blurker"? Or a "pavement princess"? Or a "plokta"? What does "peeps" mean? Writer Paul Dickson knows. A confessed addict to collecting and identifying slang words, Dickson has written a new and updated dictionary of American slang.
Feb 16, 2006 — Professor William Labov, a University of Pennsylvania linguist and author of the new book Atlas of North American English Phonetics, Phonology and Sound Change, says there is a shift of vowel sounds in the inland northern cities. He calls it the "northern city shift."