Use Your Words Wisely: Idioms, Expression, and Meaning with Martha Barnette and Beth Kobliner

There are approximately 6,500 languages spoken in the world. In each of those, there are multiple dialects, meanings, and expressions. While some Cincinnatians may say ‘Jeezle Petes’ when they are confused by someone’s behavior. Our friends across the pond say ‘for Pete’s sake’ with a similar connotation, even though both groups are both speaking English. Consider some of your favorite words and expressions. Where do they originate? Did your grandparents create it out of thin air or is it a turn of phrase rooted deep into linguistic history? To investigate all the joy this human communication tool can offer, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two wordsmiths about the origin story of age-old expressions and how language is ever-evolving. Martha Barnette is the host of A Way with Words, a radio show that investigates the connection between dialects and linguistic diversity in languages as well as the origin of widely-used phrases. Beth Kobliner recounts her parents' journey of collecting 11,000 different language expressions which they compiled in their book, So to Speak: 11,000 Expressions That'll Knock Your Socks Off. Beth also engages Lisa with some fun word and expression games. 

About Lisa’s guests: 

Martha Barnette is co-host of the public-radio show A Way with Words, heard each week by listeners on National Public Radio affiliates across North America, and worldwide by podcast. Before her work in radio, Martha was a reporter for the Washington Post and an editorial writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal. She’s the author of three books on word origins.

Beth Kobliner is a commentator and journalist. A New York Times Best-selling author several times over, Beth has contributed to many well-known US magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post. A graduate of Brown University, she lives in New York with her family. Her parents authored the book So to Speak and passed away before it reached final publication. 

This podcast  is sponsored by:

Daigle Bites — On today’s inaugural Season two episode, Lauren is inviting on psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb! The two dive in right away as Lauren asks Lori if she always envisioned being a counsellor and how to create incredible connection with others through storytelling and music. The pair also chat about: what Lori believes drives the narrative of isolation, Lauren’s personal story with counselling and mental health, how to identify what ‘wise compassion’ is, the difference between productive anxiety vs unproductive anxiety and exactly where to start to breed more compassion. If you’re ready to understand a little more about yourself, and those around you, to ultimately cultivate deeper relationships - this episode is for you. In addition to her clinical practice, Lori writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column and is co-host of the popular “Dear Therapists” podcast produced by Katie Couric. Listen here:

Return to the Harvesting Happiness Podcast Page
Connect With Us

Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio FacebookHarvesting Happiness with Lisa Cypers Kamen on X formerly twitterHarvesting Happiness Soundcloud

Harvesting Happiness InstagramHarvesting Happiness PinterestHarvesting Happiness Youtube

Tune In

Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio FacebookHarvesting Happiness TwitterHarvesting Happiness Soundcloud

Harvesting Happiness InstagramHarvesting Happiness PinterestHarvesting Happiness Youtube

Consult with Lisa

Coach with me

Contact Us

Have a question or comment for us? We love hearing from our listeners!

Call Us @ 877-929-5300

  • Are you interested in being a guest on our show or do you have a great idea for a show theme?
  • Partner with us! Show sponsorship opportunities are available.

Contact Andrea Minghelli, Producer