The Languages of Jamaica

Jamaica is a beautiful island that happens to be the place most of my forebears are from. Since the age of 3, I have been exposed to the Jamaican languages due to being partially raised by my grandmother after the death of my mother in 1987. Jamaica has 4 main languages, two of which exist…

Toponyms & Ethnonyms

Branko Milanovic has revived interest in an older post of mine about the Polish language. From Twitter it appears that the tidbit from that post which has been most remarked about is the fact that the Polish word for Italy is Włochy (related to Gaul, Wales, Wallachia, Galatia, and Vlachs). That inspires this rambling.

Why we need Trans Pride

This summer Brighton hosted Europe’s first ever trans pride march as part of its second annual Trans Pride weekend. Traditional pride events encompass transgender people by default under the LGBT umbrella. However, there has been a growing frustration that at such celebrations, the T – as well as coming last in the acronym – is…

The Cockneys & Rhyming Slang

The cockneys. Who are they and why do they speak so weirdly? The term cockney has had several distinct geographical, social, and linguistic associations. Originally a pejorative term applied to all city-dwellers, it was eventually restricted to Londoners and particularly to the “Bow-bell Cockneys”:  those born within earshot of Bow Bells, the bells of St Mary-le-Bow Church in the Cheapside district of the City of London. More…

The Linguistics of Pokémon

News of the release of Pokémon Go has been dominating social media and the mainstream media alike recently. Those born earlier than the 90s likely remember the phenomenon surrounding the Pokémon franchise in the late ’90s with the GameBoy games, TV show, trading card game that got loads of people obsessed with catching them all.…