Arika Okrent

Writes about: language

Linguist, author of In the Land of Invented Languages, living in Chicago, doing her part to fight off the cot-caught merger and keep "gym shoes" alive.

New World Champ of French Scrabble Doesn’t Speak Any French
Is a Microphone a ‘Mic’ or a ‘Mike’?
Why Does 'Terrible' Mean Bad and 'Terrific' Mean Good?
What Does ‘Understand’ Have to do With Standing Under?
What’s With The New Yawk Accent?
The Poet Who Traveled the U.S. Speaking Only Faroese
13 Words that Changed from Negative to Positive (or Vice Versa)
What's the Real Origin of OK?
6 International Terms of Endearment
The Grammar Battle That Followed the American Revolution
Why Did Yankee Doodle Call a Feather ‘Macaroni’?
‘Hot Mess’ Dates to 1899 and 5 Other Pieces of News from the Latest OED Update
1943 Film Explains Cockney Rhyming Slang
How the Word ‘Father’ Unlocked the History of Language
The Evolution of 'Dude'
Make Strange Stories from Your Pictures with Word Camera
Proportional Map of the World's Largest Languages
What’s With the Word Order in ‘Believe You Me’?
15 Common Expressions Younger Generations Won't Understand
A Language Based Only On Whistles
New Scrabble Ad Shows How Word Lovers Find Love
Why Is Y Sometimes a Vowel?
The Guy Who Tried to Edit English
15 Unusual College Mottos
The Sport of Competitive Vocabulary Building
15 Unique Illnesses You Can Only Come Down With in German
Competition Reviving the Art of Poetry Recitation
How William Zinsser Helped Writers Overcome Their Fear of the Word Processor
The Biggest Changes On This Year’s Baby Name List
Have a Great Palindrome Week!
6 Facts About the Name Charlotte
17 "Bon" Figures of Speech from Louisiana French
These Words Aren't the Words You Think They Are
Where Does the Expression "Hands Down" Come From?
Why Do We Gesture When We Talk?
Watch a Baby Go from Babbling to Baby Talk to Words in ASL
10 Onomatopoeia for World Travelers
8 Fun Facts About the Valyrian Language of 'Game of Thrones'
Why Is English Spelling So Weird?
How Do You Say "Pecan"?
Your Words Can Be Recovered From a Video of a Chip Bag Next to You
Vote on a Message to Send to Space About What Earthlings Think of the World
What American Sign Language Looked Like 100 Years Ago
Top Dictionary Words Searched at Colleges Across the Country
Listen and Compare: 15 Different Irish Accents
How to Memorize Pi if You’re a Word Person
8 Fun Facts About the Irish Language
Hear What Rapping Sounds Like in 14 Different Languages
Explore the World’s Languages with this Cool Interactive Map
11 Best Uses of Bad Grammar from The Simpsons


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