Bob Garfield
Bob Garfield

Bob Garfield, author most recently of the genre novel Bedfellows, is co-host of Slate’s Lexicon Valley and of WNYC’s On the Media.

Lexicon Valley
May 17 2016 11:33 AMWhy Some People Call Rock-Paper-Scissors RoshamboHow an American Revolutionary War figure spawned a new name for a very old game.
Lexicon Valley
April 19 2016 11:25 AMRed Herring: A Wild Goose Chase That Stinks From FishHow did Clupea harengus come to signify a diversionary tactic?
Lexicon Valley
March 8 2016 11:08 AMTake It With a Grain of Salt! But Why a Single Grain? And Why Salt?A phrase with roots in Ancient Rome has confounded English speakers for centuries.
Lexicon Valley
Feb. 8 2016 10:22 AMA British MP Called Donald Trump a Wazzock. What’s a Wazzock?A peculiar insult from the north of England has the Oxford English Dictionary stumped.
Lexicon Valley
Jan. 11 2016 11:55 AMThe Origins of In Cahoots: Four Theories
Lexicon Valley
Dec. 14 2015 9:23 AMSo You Just Got Eighty-Sixed From a Bar. Why That Number?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the early-20th-century origins of a bizarre food-industry code with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
Nov. 16 2015 12:05 PMWoody Guthrie’s Folk Etymology. It’s a Hootenanny!Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a word that was popularized during the 1940s folk movement with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 19 2015 10:47 AMA Drone, a Bell, and a Suffix. It’s a Real Humdinger!The panelists discuss a piece of old American slang.
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 21 2015 9:46 AMAn Ambitious Enterprise, Quixotic and UnavailingBob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a very wasteful word with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
Aug. 24 2015 11:08 AMWhy Do Latin Americans Call English Speakers Gringos?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of a Spanish-language pejorative with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
July 27 2015 11:02 AMThe Jittery History of a Very Nervous PhraseBob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
June 29 2015 2:52 PMLinguaFile XIII: Don’t Be a Clown!Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
June 1 2015 9:59 AMGuess the Mystery Word!Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
May 4 2015 11:14 AMAttention Southerners: Here’s Why You Love SeersuckerListen to Slate’s show about a well-traveled fabric, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
April 6 2015 12:32 PMWhy Is Pumpernickel Bread Named for a Farting Devil?Listen to Slate’s show about the flatulent history of a popular deli staple, featuring lexicographer Ben Zimmer.
Lexicon Valley
May 3 2016 11:14 AMThe Blaccent: What Does It Mean to Sound Black?Linguist John McWhorter argues that it makes perfect sense for the speech of black and white Americans to have subtle differences.
Lexicon Valley
April 4 2016 9:31 AMIs Sh-t Show a German Calque? The OED Needs Your Help!The earliest known citation for the phrase is from an English-language translation of a 1970s criminal trial in Germany. But what was the word or phrase being translated?
Lexicon Valley
Feb. 22 2016 5:12 PMThe Full, Firm, Valiant, and Heavy-Hearted TrumpDonald Trump calls people (and publications) he doesn’t like sad. When did that word become an insult?
Lexicon Valley
Jan. 27 2016 2:00 PMThe Fall and Rise of the Singular TheyA pronoun that English borrowed from its Scandinavian neighbors gets new life as a gender-neutral alternative to he and she.
Lexicon Valley
Dec. 28 2015 9:32 AMTears of Joy, Identity, and a Prism of IsmsBob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to editors at Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and Dictionary.com about their picks for Word of the Year.
Lexicon Valley
Nov. 30 2015 10:50 AMWhen Did We Start Using Sleep as a Stand-In for Sex and Death?
Lexicon Valley
Nov. 2 2015 9:14 AMA Cat, a Coward, and Female GenitaliaBob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the etymological quirkiness of the word pussy.
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 5 2015 11:32 AMSeven Centuries of F--ksBob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to Jesse Sheidlower, author of The F-Word, about a recent discovery about the history of one our most enduring expletives.
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 8 2015 10:39 AMHow Did New York Become the Big Apple?
Lexicon Valley
Aug. 10 2015 11:11 AMWhat Do We Mean When We Ask What Something Is Like?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss “A literary history of the strange expression ‘what is it like?’ ”—an article by lexicographer Anne Seaton.
Lexicon Valley
July 13 2015 9:20 AMWhat’s the Deal With Translating Seinfeld?A discussion about why the classic American sitcom falls flat in other cultures and languages.
Lexicon Valley
June 19 2015 12:44 PMLanguage Has a Positivity Bias. How Did We Measure That?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss recent research that confirms the so-called Pollyanna Hypothesis.
Lexicon Valley
May 18 2015 11:14 AM“I Always Believed That Created Languages Were Art Pieces”Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to conlanger David J. Peterson about the art and craft of inventing languages for Game of Thrones.
Lexicon Valley
April 20 2015 11:30 AMShakespeare Used Double Negatives. Why Don't We?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo don't know nothing.
Lexicon Valley
March 23 2015 10:35 AMIs “Try And” an Acceptable Substitute for “Try To”?Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss a quirk of grammar that Henry Fowler believed “should not be discountenanced.”

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