195 episodes

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

Lexicon Valley Slate Magazine

    • Language Learning
    • 4.7, 174 Ratings

Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

    Coronavirus: Isolation and Aspiration

    Coronavirus: Isolation and Aspiration

    Can strongly aspirated consonants increase transmission of COVID-19?
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    Our Indigenous Languages

    Our Indigenous Languages

    A luxuriance of long words, baroque case endings and irregular everything—the Native American tongues!
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr
    I Just Can't!

    I Just Can't!

    Host John McWhorter shares some of his longstanding language peeves—yes, linguists have them too!
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 45 min
    The Many Meanings of Too

    The Many Meanings of Too

    Host John McWhorter finds linguistic inspiration in an 80-year-old musical performance of Rubber Dolly.
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 42 min
    Sicko, Whacko, Weirdo

    Sicko, Whacko, Weirdo

    The -o suffix traces back to old comic strip characters with names like Knocko and Groucho. Neato!
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Chinese Has No Grammar, Right? Wrong!

    Chinese Has No Grammar, Right? Wrong!

    Mandarin might not have gender or case endings but there's more to grammar than conjugations.
    Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on Lexicon Valley each week, and no ads. Sign up now to listen and support our show.
    Twitter: @lexiconvalley
    Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley
    Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
174 Ratings

174 Ratings

Tessa the Ciclopse ,

It’s amazing to cotton on.

I’m a new listener, but I love how informative and fun this podcast is. The only thing is, I don’t think there’s an episode about the history of the phrase “cotton on” which is starting to pop up again online and can sometimes cause confusion. It would be amazing if the history of the phrase were to be discussed in a future episode!

PS. I haven’t finished listening to the whole series yet so if it’s discussed later on forgive me.

Wolfestreetjaneite ,

Couldn’t recommend more sincerely

Fans of linguistics, search no more! This is the podcast for you! The is funny, congenial and of course has a deep understanding of linguistics and the ability to make it accessible to all.

Joel*B ,

pretty good

This podcast has been one of my standards since its inception. Amusing and informative. I still miss Vuolo and Garfield, but McWhorter has his own charm.

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