Appalachian Mountains dialect

The Legendary Language of the Appalachian “Holler”

Is the unique Appalachian dialect the preserved language of Elizabethan England? Left over from Scots-Irish immigrants? Or something else altogether?
compliments

The Uncertain Art of the American Compliment

The way Americans compliment is maximalist and enthusiastic, but it may not always be sincere. Our resident linguist unpacks the language of politeness.
drag queen

The Unspeakable Linguistics of Camp

When gay and lesbian people had to invent their own languages with which to talk with each other, camp led the way.
Loggers slang

The Lost Language of American Loggers

Logger slang may have coined terms like "punk," "haywire," and "pie in the sky." One lexicographer attempted to catalogue the industry's slang in 1942.
Cropped Image Of Man And Woman Kissing

The Murky Linguistics of Consent

In many #MeToo stories, crucial signals, verbal and non-verbal cues, are sent but not received. Why is that?
Australian kids

Small Poppy Syndrome: Why are Australians so Obsessed With Nicknaming Things?

What's behind the Australian habit of nicknaming and abbreviating everything? Nicknames may just reveal how Australians see themselves and relate to each other.
Censorship bubble

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Words?

Censorship isn't just redacted text and banned words. What happens when censorship is furtive, flying under the radar as much as possible?
Oxford English Dictionaries

In Celebration of Lost Words

At some point in their lexical histories, lost words' original meanings died and have been revived into a mere semblance of their former selves.
Scrabble game

Codifying What Counts as a Word in Scrabble

When Alfred M. Butts first created a game called Lexico (or Lexiko) for his family in 1931, he ...
Mrs Miss Ms

From the Mixed-Up History of Mrs., Miss, and Ms.

Language can reveal power dynamics, as in the terms of address, or honorifics, are used to refer to a woman's social status: Mrs., Miss, and Ms.