220 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

    • Education
    • 4.6 • 2.7K 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.

    Irregardless Make You Cringe? Relax.

    Irregardless Make You Cringe? Relax.

    English is full of redundancies—so why are we bothered by only a select few?
    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

    Nine Nasty Words

    Nine Nasty Words

    John McWhorter teases his new book about off-color English expressions, starting with c!#k.
    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

    • 40 min
    The Invisible Complexities of Translation

    The Invisible Complexities of Translation

    A single word—take "self," for example—reveals the thorny nature of literary translation.
    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

    • 46 min
    English Is Plain Weird

    English Is Plain Weird

    Don't be fooled into thinking that English is a typical language. It's not.
    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
    Subject-Verb-Object. Right?

    Subject-Verb-Object. Right?

    For many languages, the idea that the subject belongs up front is plain backwards.
    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
    Parting Company

    Parting Company

    How did a word meaning "with bread" come to sprout its corporate connotation?
    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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2.7K Ratings

2.7K Ratings

junior chomsky ,

Host John McWhoter is amazing!!!

The topics, no matter how boring they may seem at first, are always made interesting by the host John McWhoter. He takes seemingly mundane observations and expands and digs into them so that by the end of the podcast I am blown away. Love it.

South Florida Traveller ,

Entertaining and instructive

This is a top five podcast inclusive of all genres, IMO. Consistently rich in content, funny and entertaining, the deep preparation for each episode is evident. Lots of ‘unknown unknowns’ out there as relates to the origins and uses of language...

As a Pittsburgh ex pat, I happened across, and present for your consideration, a new entry, circa 2020, into the Pittsburghese lexicon: CORNTINE (aka “quarantine”).

in.n.y.c ,

Police apologist

I was ready to skip past the long commercials and ego-stroking the host engages in, but the views and arguments he puts into the public sphere on current events are disingenuous, demonstrably false, and absurd on their face. Those views are separate from the linguistics he discusses on the podcast but I cannot support even the podcast of someone so obviously dishonest and, frankly, blind to reality. He appears to believe that cops generally operate without racial bias in the US and he regularly makes excuses for police misconduct....

Top Podcasts In Education

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Slate Magazine