208 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
    • 4.6 • 2.6K 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.

    On the Origin of English

    On the Origin of English

    A controversial theory holds that English, along with other Germanic languages, was profoundly influenced early on by Phoenician. The evidence is intriguing.
    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
    White Author, Black English. Problem?

    White Author, Black English. Problem?

    Mark Twain famously depicted what he called the "Missouri Negro dialect" of Jim. Would that be acceptable today?
    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

    • 55 min
    Do Cats Have Language?

    Do Cats Have Language?

    Animals bark, sing, purr and even gesture, all fascinating but a far cry from human communication.
    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 1 min
    Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

    Sergeant, Corporal, Colonel!

    Peculiar linguistic tales of America's soldiers.
    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

    • 39 min
    To Reason Why

    To Reason Why

    There's more than one way to ask why. How come? What for?
    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

    • 38 min
    When Talking to Your Mother-In-Law Is a Minefield

    When Talking to Your Mother-In-Law Is a Minefield

    From baby talk to formal varieties, languages around the world offer—or even require—different ways of speaking for different situations.
    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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2.6K Ratings

2.6K Ratings

Dreamdate genius ,

Fantastic

This guy is erudite and celebrates the breadth of his knowledge with a twinkle in his eye and a show tune in his heart. What’s not to love?!

David L. Blair ,

One of the best podcasts

Lexicon Valley is consistently fascinating, informative, and entertaining. I look forward to this every week, and have never been disappointed. Even the episodes I was hesitant to listen to turned out to be worth every minute.

Thank you, Dr. McWhorter.

LMoEarner ,

Saved by the music!

I started listening to Lexicon Valley from the beginning. I liked every episode. Then i didn't. It made no seense -- to me. I kept listening because i enjoyed the old television references and the retro music bits. But not the content. Again, it was getting nonsensical. However, i write this review to say the most recent episode, "Sergeant, Corpora Colonel!" was good. I listened to all of it, and understood it, and learned something. It was a no-cringe episode. Thank you.

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