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.

Should Research Animals Get Names?
How Deaf People Come Up With Signs for Slang Terms Like “Photobomb”
All the Colors in That Dress Go Back to the Same Etymological Source
'The Imitation Game' Codebreakers Also Created Brilliant Palindromes
Why Is It “Woe Is Me” Instead Of “I Am Woe”?
Watch a Time-Lapse of an $8 Million Dollhouse Being Put Back Together
8 Beautiful Snow Scenes from Literature
15 Pairs of Words That Seem Etymologically Related, But Aren’t
11 Words You Might Not Realize Come from “Love”
6 Places Where Lexicographers Find Old Slang
See This Adorable Baby Acquire Sign Language Through Rhythm And Rhyme
Designer Chocolates That Let You Taste the Meaning of Japanese Words
Why Do People in Interviews Say “That’s a Good Question” So Much?
15 Unique Illnesses You Can Only Come Down With in German
13 Words of the Year from Other Countries
The American Dialect Society's Word of the Year
2015: The Last Binary Palindrome Year We’ll Have Until 2047
Why Your Family Name Did Not Come From a Mistake at Ellis Island
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year is 'Culture'
15 Harsh Things Critics Said About 'The Nutcracker' After Its 1892 Premiere
This Little Girl’s ASL Version of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' Will Make Your Heart Grow 3 Sizes
The 11 Best New Words Added to Oxford Dictionaries
The Unusual Syntax of “Sexiest Man Alive”
17 Old Proverbs We Should Use More Often
The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is Vape
How a Deaf Couple Had Their Baby Officially Registered with a Sign Name
Experiments in Ngram Art
11 Versions of “Average Joe” from Other Countries
Countries as Named in Their Own Languages
15 Tricky Words and How to Pronounce Them Hilariously Wrong
The Sign Language Interpreter for De Blasio’s Press Conference Was Deaf. How Does That Work?
How Well Does Mark Zuckerberg Speak Chinese?
Feast Your Eyes on This Beautiful Linguistic Family Tree
11 Naughty-Sounding Scientific Names (and What They Really Mean)
20 Italian Hand Gestures, Demonstrated by Male Models
5 Words That Are Spelled Weird Because Someone Got the Etymology Wrong
5 Baffling Foreign Language Versions of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Theme
How an Awesomesauce New Suffix Came to Be
The Secret Emotional Lives of 5 Punctuation Marks
18 Apple Varieties With Badass Names
11 Facts Yü Should Know About the Umlaut
Can "Y'all" Be Used to Refer to a Single Person?
15 Words Plagued by Unusual Silent Letters
Why is “Pound” Abbreviated as “lb”?
Why Isn't 'Arkansas' Pronounced Like 'Kansas'?
From Y'all To Youse, 8 English Ways to Make "You" Plural
15 Awesome 19th Century Street Gang Names
11 Common Words That Will Boost Your Scrabble Score
New Twitter Study Discovers “Global Superdialects”
35 Kinds of Hot, Sexy Homophone Action


A super-skimmable daily digest.