Predicting WotY: antifa, blockchain, double down, gig economy, Trumpian, womxn – are any of these contenders for Word of the Year 2017?

Many dictionaries announce a Word of the Year at the end of each year. In this post, a number of words and phrases newly popular in 2017 – antifa, blockchain, double down, gig economy, Trumpian, and womxn – are considered to see if they are contenders for the title

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The possibility of a loan: adverbs and related parts of speech from Afrikaans and ‘vernac’ in South African English

South African English has been assimilating adverbs, adapting, calquing or loaning them from local languages for more than two centuries. In this post, I examine some features of "classical" Afrikaans-derived adverbs in SAE; and describe a number of new ones from isiXhosa, isiZulu, and Setswana that are moving in from the margins

‘Eish’ in South African English: an analysis of the word in informal written public discourse, with a speculative enquiry into its etymology

"Eish" is a common interjection in South Africa. In this post, I consider it as an element of South African English, conduct a speculative enquiry into its etymology, and analyse the word’s relation to ‘you’ in informal written public discourse

Izzit? – More on language evolution: Open University’s animated ‘History of English’ video

More on the history of the English language, this time from The Open University in the form of an 11 minute animated video on YouTube.

Izzit? – ‘English is weird,’ and here’s the evidence

The strangeness of the English language is a matter of historical contingency, migration, conquest, and adaptation. More has happened to it in its history than to most other languages on Earth.

​Izzit? – F-bombs and other profanities are ‘central to the human experience’

Do you get through the day without having to swear? Or do you swear like a trooper? An author contends that the norm lies somewhere in between. (Caution: article contains profanity)

Heads & tails: ‘kop’ and ‘gat’ in South African English

The words ‘kop’ and ‘gat’ are used in a variety of ways in South African English. Occurring mostly in compound forms – such as chiskop, malkop, loskop, and tikkop; and gatvol, hardegat, kaalgat, and windgat – they have shown great durability and flexibility in constructing new meanings.