Best Linguistics podcasts (updated May 29, 2015). In-depth discussions on the study of language.
A weekly delve into linguistics and language, with Daniel Midgley and Ben Ainslie on RTRfm 92.1, Perth.
A Way with Words is a fun and funny public radio show about words, language, and how we use them. Hundreds of thousands of language-lovers around the world tune in each week to hear author Martha Barnette and dictionary editor Grant Barrett take calls about slang, grammar, English usage, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well. The program is a fresh look at the pleasures and delights of language and linguistics, words and speech, writing and reading. Language-learners, ESL, ELT, and TESOL folks will find it a treat. Call with your questions at *any time* in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico at 1-877-929-9673, in London at +44 20 7193 2113, in Mexico City at +52 55 8421 9771, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on the web at http://waywordradio.org/, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wayword, and via Skype to the user name "wayword."
Speculative Grammarian—the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics—is now available as an arbitrarily irregular audio podcast. Our podcast includes readings of articles from our journal, the occasional musical number or dramatical piece, and our talk show, Language Made Difficult. Language Made Difficult is hosted by the SpecGram LingNerds, and features our signature linguistics quiz—Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics—along with some discussion of recent-ish linguistic news and whatever else amuses us. Outtakes are provided.
Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman for Radiotopia from PRX. http://theallusionist.org
Lexicon Valley is a podcast about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Your hosts are Bob Garfield and producer Mike Vuolo. Part of the Panoply Network.
The Spoken History of a Global Language
Assorted stories from Michigan Radio
Conlangery is the podcast for language creators and enthusiasts of constructed languages.
A provider of FREE language learning audio. Learn one of 14 languages with us wherever you are, at home or on the go. Learn Italian, French, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, Turkish, English, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch and Greek. Get our app for android! Enjoy all the audio lessons released so far in all the languages with the Talk Parrot app http://goo.gl/Vvaewc Get all the Italian lessons with the Real life Italian app http://goo.gl/0TmfkF or choose all the Hebrew lesson with the Hebrew Steps app http://goo.gl/KQmdcq Our homepage http://www.talkparrot.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkParrot Google Plus https://plus.google.com/u/0/103533387214876649712/posts Twitter https://twitter.com/TalkParrotPod Skype user name "TalkParrotLive"
If an older man and woman spend lots of time together, going to family gatherings and the like, but they're NOT dating, what do you call their relationship? Best friends? Dear friends? Or . . . something else? And a marathon runner who's crossed 31 states on foot talks about the odd phrases people use when giving directions. Plus, handegg, victuals and vittles, nernees and farsees, take a decision vs. make a decision, and the growing popularity of text tattoos.FULL DETAILSWhen it comes to tattoos, passages of text are an increasingly popular alternative to images.The word victuals is pronounced like "vittles" and refers to cooked foods and shares a Latin root with vitamin and vitality. Sometimes it's spelled vittles, a form often associated with more informal or rustic speech.If you pass by a place, does that mean you go into it? Or do you go past it? An Australian caller and his American ex-girlfriend disagreed. In parts of the English-speaking world, the phrase pass by is one in a long...
Language Made Difficult, Vol. XLIII — The SpecGram LingNerds are joined by returning guests Tim Pulju and Jason Wells-Jensen. After some Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics, the LingNerds discuss how to fake a language, and then contemplate ways in which English spelling, morphology, etc., could be revamped.
What does brunch have to do with Lewis Carroll? Fall down the rabbit hole of brunch semantics with Dan Pashman of the Sporkful podcast. There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/brunch. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk to conlanger David J. Peterson about the art and craft of creating languages for Game of Thrones. This week's episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series "Language A to Z." Order it at 80% off the original price by visiting thegreatcourses.com/lexicon. And by Blue Apron, the new service that delivers all the ingredients you need to make incredible meals at home. Discover a better way to cook. Visit BlueApron.com/lexicon to get your first two meals free. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: email@example.com
Right off the bat, it's easy to think of several everyday expressions that derive from America's pastime. Including right off the bat. The Dickson Baseball Dictionary catalogues not just those contributions but also more obscure terms like "pebble picker," and explains why a fastball is called a "Linda Ronstadt." Plus, as more transgender people are publicly recognized, there's a debate about which pronouns to use. And who in the world would give a one-star review on Amazon to … Herman Melville's Moby-Dick? Plus, the plural of hummus, tear the rag off the bush, to boot, synesthesia, paper stretchers, wet washes, and the verb to podcast.FULL DETAILSRight off the bat, you can probably name a long list of common idioms that come from baseball. For example, right off the bat. But how about some of the more obscure ones, like the Linda Ronstadt? In a nod to Ronstadt's song "Blue Bayou," her name is used in baseball to refer to a ball that blew by you. Paul Dickson has collected this and hundreds...
Language Made Difficult, Vol. XLII — The SpecGram LingNerds are joined by returning guest Hedvig Skirgård. After some Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics, the LingNerds see what comes out of their mouths after reading an article claiming awareness comes after speaking, and then they discuss various linguistical ideas—real and imagined—that are ready for retirement.
Ever try to write a well-known passage in limerick form? It's harder than you think. How about this one: "There once was a lady who's sure / All that glitters is golden and pure/ There's a stairway that heads up to heaven, it's said / And the cost of the thing she'll incur." Plus, the diacritical mark that readers of The New Yorker magazine find most annoying. And how do you really pronounce the name of that big city in Southern California--the one also known as the "City of Angels"? Also, clopening, Z vs. Zed, seeding a tournament, the wee man and Old Scratch, and a word game based on the novels of Charles Dickens.FULL DETAILSWhat do readers of The New Yorker complain about most when they write letters to the editor? Those two dots above vowels in words like cooperate and reelect. The diaeresis, as those marks are known, has remained in use at the magazine ever since the copy editor who planned on nixing it died in 1978, and the whole saga is chronicled in fellow New Yorker copy editor...
In this episode we explore two aspects of the term ‘flesh and blood.’ We examine the human body from the perspective of the Anglo-Saxons by looking at their words for parts of the body. We also explore Old English words associated with sickness and disease. At the same time, we consider how the term ‘flesh and blood’ is utilized to describe one’s children or other very close relatives. Specifically, we examine the mothers who fought to secure the English throne for their respective flesh and blood following the death of King Cnut in 1035.
Flowers are a popular way to honor Mother's Day, so we decided to take a look at some expressions that seem to have floral origins. First, there's "a...
Language Made Difficult, Vol. XLI — The SpecGram LingNerds are joined by guest Hedvig Skirgård. After some Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics, the LingNerds go into denial about their own “fingerprint words”, and then flip the script with some descriptivist confessions.
Today we review the Akana conlang Kataputi. In other news, the Sixth Language Creation Conference happened. Links below. Also, George is getting his Masters. Top of Show Greeting: Old English/Anglo-Saxon (translated and read by Scott Brewer) Links and Resources Kataputi Proto-Dumic Announced bits William’s post about legal stuff LCC6 site Day 1, part 1 Day […]
On the eve of the 2015 General Election in the UK, take a jaunt through the etymology of election-related words. Find out why casting a vote should be more like basketball, and why polling is hairy. There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/electionlexicon. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please air your thoughts about podcasts by filling in the Radiotopia survey at surveynerds.com/allusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of the word "seersucker" with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. This week's episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series "Language A to Z." Order it at 80% off the original price by visiting thegreatcourses.com/lexicon. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What the fox says may be a mystery, but we do know that dogs bark differently around the world. In China, for example, they say not bow-wow but wang wang. Also, the story behind the British tradition of scrumping. It's not a middle school dance craze, and it has nothing to do with beer -- or does it? Plus, recipe vs. receipt, mash vs. press, housing a beer, all bollixed up, and empty heads make weary bones. FULL DETAILSWhat's an appropriate response when someone knocks on your bathroom stall? How about You can come in, but you can't sit down!Scrumping is a Britishism for "stealing apples off your neighbors' trees." Father Dominic from Chicago wonders when It's a thing became, well, a thing. The word receipt is occasionally used a synonym for recipe, as in "a list of ingredients in a dish and instructions on how to make it." Both words come from the same Latin root, recipere, meaning "to receive." The use of receipt for recipe is old-fashioned and probably won't be around that much longer...
Copy editors around the country are mulling over what to do about the pronoun "they" used as a singular, because the issue just won't go away. So we...
Online recaps of Mad Men or Breaking Bad can be as much fun as the shows themselves. So why not recap classic literature -- like, say, Dante's Inferno? A literary website is doing just that. And, you've heard about the First World and the Third World -- so where in the world is the Second World? Plus, animal stories, including how the aardvark got three A's in its name, and why the catbird seat is the place to be. Also, the origins of crackerjack, mall, mad money, and the admonition you might want horns, but you're gonna die butt-headed! FULL DETAILSShopping malls take their name from the fashionable street now known as Pall Mall in London's St. James area. The game of pall-mall, which involves hitting a ball with a wooden mallet, was once played there.Listen up, Scrabble players! Zax is a real word that refers to a kind of roofing tool. A small eating place where the food is not particularly good is sometimes called a grab-it-and-growl.A crackerjack fellow is someone who's excellent or...
Take two slices of bread, put something tasty on them, slap the slices together, and you've got a sandwich, right? Well, you may call it a "sanwich" or...
The Nasal Tone: An Honest Tale; by Barb Tyd-Laika and Tessie Chopp Durnford; From Volume CLXVI, (166) Number 2, of Speculative Grammarian, January 2013 — One of our favourite places for a “Speculative-Grammarian–style” afternoon is at the home of our dear friend, Sir William Jones, XIV. At 94, he’s full of strange tales and bizarre first-person accounts of the adventure of his life, which includes migrations, linguistics, and more vodka than you can swizzle a stick at. His stories are characterized by his habit of using oddly distinct language and gesticulating wildly while ranting for hours on end. (Read by Les Strabismus.)
I know this is a show about words, but forget the words for a moment; look at the spaces between the words. Without the spaces, the words would be nigh incomprehensible. Dr Kate Wiles explains the history of the space. Visit theallusionist.org/spaces to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please give us your thoughts about podcasts at surveynerds.com/allusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.
During his reign as King of England, Canute established a new class of nobles who became known as earls. The authority of the earls was second only to the king himself. The king and the nobles ruled over the common people or peasants who were known as churls. The peasants tended to the farms, and their culture and lifestyle produced many words which have survived in Modern English. We examine the etymology of words and phrases associated with farming, livestock, bread making and knitting. Map Prepared by Louis Henwood
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo don't know nuthin' about the double negative. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: email@example.com This week's episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series "Language A to Z." Order it at 80% off the original price by visiting thegreatcourses.com/lexicon. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus.
This week on "A Way with Words": Careful what you criticize! Not long ago, some words that sound perfectly normal today were considered gauche and grating on the ear. If the complainers had had their way, we couldn't say the word "pessimism" or use "contact" as a verb! Also, we'll settle another debate once and for all: is it "a historic" or "an historic"? Plus, what are you doing for Inside-Out Day? Also, bed lunch, sweven, hinky, johnny gowns, the real meaning of shiver me timbers, and more.FULL DETAILSWe get lots of calls and emails that take a pessimistic look at the way language changes-- which reminded us that the word pessimism itself, just 100 or so years ago, was derided by the curmudgeons of old. People thought the word pessimism was a lazy, inaccurate replacement for "despondency." If you're looking for yet another reason to buy an infant a present, there's always Inside Out Day, which some people celebrate as the day when a baby has been out of the womb as long as they were...
There are plenty of English words that mean "nonsense." One of them is "malarkey." It's certainly fun to say, and it got a lot of attention when Vice...
Evidential Complexity and Language Loss in Pinnacle Sherpa; by Keith Slater; From Volume CLI, Number 4, of Speculative Grammarian, October 2006 — Abstract / In this paper I describe an unprecedented situation of language loss: that which is found in Pinnacle Sherpa. The language has been completely lost by the oldest and middle-aged segments of the population, but is strongly maintained by the young. The loss is due to exponential increases in the complexity of the Pinnacle Sherpa evidential system, which have rendered older speakers unable to adequately indicate the source of information in their utterances. (Read by Keith Slater.)
This week on "A Way with Words": Sharing a secret language. Did you ever speak in gibberish with a childhood pal, adding extra syllables to words so the adults couldn't understand what you were saying? Such wordplay isn't just for kids--and it's not just limited to English. Also, memory tricks to hold onto those slippery words you always forget. And, what do you call your warm, knitted cap? Is it a beanie, a tuque, a toboggan, or something else? The answer has everything to do with where you live. Plus cutting a rusty, foundering on cake, hone in vs. home in, Jeezum Crow!, and triboluminescence.FULL DETAILSWe heard from someone on the show a while back about what to call an ex-wife's new husband. Lots of listeners called in and wrote us with their suggestions, including husband-in-law and step-husband to relief pitcher, stunt double, and version 2.0. If you've spent any time in the Vermont region, chances are you've heard the exclamation Jeezum Crow!, which is simply a euphemism for "Jesus...
Given how common the compound word "child care" is, you would think we could agree on whether to spell it as one word or two. And that's just the tip of...
UXⁿ: The Implications of Sampson’s Proof of Universal Science; by Bjorn-Bob Weaselflinger; From Volume CLIV, Number 1, of Speculative Grammarian, May 2008 — As this author has noted elsewhere, it is not uncommon in linguistics—just as in other sciences—for an observation with stunning implications for the field to go largely unnoticed; a researcher will advance an analysis to deal with a highly localized, recalcitrant problem without realizing that the analysis itself is a revolutionary advance. Some advances do draw attention, but the attention itself remains localized, and the wider significance of the advance isn’t recognized for quite some time. (Read by Trey Jones.)
Cryptic crosswords: delightful brain exercise, or the infernal taunting of the incomprehensible? Either way, crossword setter John Feetenby explains how they’re made and how to solve them. Visit theallusionist.org/crosswords to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please give us your thoughts about podcasts at surveynerds.com/allusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.
Support Conlangery on Patreon! Announcements: David Salo talking at WiGL on April 11, in Madison, WI, USA The Sixth Language Creation Conference will be April 25-26 in Horsham, UK Bianca joins us today for an episode on obviation, just another option for managing discourse while clarifying who does what to who. Also, we have a […]
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the origin of the word "pumpernickel" with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This week's episode is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series "The Story of Human Language." Order it at 80% off the original price by visiting thegreatcourses.com/lexicon. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus.
What do your pronouns say about your own psychological makeup? If you use the word I a lot, does it mean you're a leader . . . or a follower? A surprising study suggests that people of lower status in a group tend to use I the most. Also, a look at why businesses intentionally misspell the names of their products. Sometimes it's a smart marketing strategy -- and sometimes it's a necessity. Plus, bunt vs. butt, Duck Duck Gray Duck vs. Duck Duck Goose, alumnae vs. alumni, the silent s in island, throwing a wobbly, and Holy old jumping up baldheaded! FULL DETAILSCompanies sometimes intentionally misspell a product's name in order to get customers' attention. These deliberate mistakes, such as Cheez Whiz, Krispy Kreme, and Froot Loops, are also called sensational spelling or divergent spelling.Restekuchen, or baked goods made with leftover ingredients, are popular in Germany, where their name translates as "scrap cake."From the Twitter feed of @anagramatron comes this apt pair of anagrams...
Language Reviews; by Dr. P. Nonoir; From Volume CLIX, Number 3, of Speculative Grammarian, July 2010 — This month we asked avid SpecGram reader Dr. P. Nonoir, Professor of Oenological Linguistics at the Sorbonne, to review some of his favourite languages. (Read by James Campbell.)
In this episode, we explore the Danish Conquest of England in the 11th century. The Danish victory brought a temporary end to Anglo-Saxon rule, but it didn’t bring an end to death and taxes. We examine the etymology of words related to death, and we also explore the connection between high taxes and Modern English.
This week on "A Way with Words": It's the language of Wisconsin: If you're nibbling on slippery Jims or sipping sweet soup, chances are you're in the Badger State. Also, the famous abolitionist whose name became an exclamation. And how to respond if someone says to you, "Well, aren't you the chawed rosin!" Plus, parking garages vs. parking ramps, trouper vs. trooper, my boo, and the possible origin of toodles.FULL DETAILSThe robin may be the official State Bird of Wisconsin, but a listener from the Badger State shares a limerick about the unofficial state bird: the mosquito.Boo and my boo are a terms of endearment common among African-Americans, going at least as far back as mid-90s jams like the Ghost Town DJ's' "My Boo." In parts of Wisconsin, parking garages are called parking ramps.The part of a church known as a foyer, vestibule, or lobby is sometimes called the narthex. This word appears to go back to the ancient Greek term for "fennel," although beyond that, its etymology is unclear...
University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan has been thinking about diminutives lately, particularly "ette." "The word 'cigarette' is clearly...
A Yonge Philologiste’s First Drynkynge Poime; Author Unknown; From Volume CL, Number 1, of Speculative Grammarian, January 2005 — Whan that Apryl, with hir bosooms soote, / The draughtes of beere hath feched barefoote ... (Read by Jonathan van der Meer.)
Velum, Velum, Little Thing; by Phrançoise Phonétique; From Volume CLXVI, Number 2, of Speculative Grammarian, January 2013 — Velum, velum little thing. / How I wonder where you swing. / Up above the tongue so high, / Like a larynx in the sky. (Read by Les Strabismus.)
ODE TO ALCUIN; by Anonymous; From Volume CLVI, Number 2, of Speculative Grammarian, April 2009 — ALCUIN, O ALCUIN, YOU RENAIS- / SANCE-Y CAROLINGIAN BASTARD, / YOU HAVE GONE AND NEARLY DOUBLED / THE COUNT OF LETTERS TO BE MASTERED. (Read by Trey Jones.)
You’d think you could trust a dictionaries, but it turns out, they are riddled with LIES. Visit theallusionist.org/mountweazel to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please give us your thoughts about podcasts at surveynerds.com/allusionist The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss whether "try and" is an acceptable substitute for "try to."