The World in Words

The World in Words podcast is about language — everything from bilingual education to the globalization of English to Icelandic insults. Hosted by The World's Patrick Cox. Subscribe to the podcast: RSS iTunes

Arts, Culture & Media

The cat's out of the bag on the footloose language of the high seas, matey

There is a long history of seafarer slang. Many expressions like "run the gauntlet" have passed into modern English. Scouse, a dialect spoken in the port city of Liverpool, is littered with old British English seafarer terms. But as the shipping industry has become increasingly global—the crew might be from the Philippines, the captain from Greece, the ship chartered in Barbados — what's happening to the lingo of the high seas?

Arts, Culture & Media

Who knew the Magna Carta dealt with fish weirs and debt payments to Jews?


On Monday the Magna Carta turns 800 years old. The "Great Charter" changed governance as we know it, establishing rights that today we take for granted, like the fact that even the king was subject to the law and not above it. While the document has long been revered, we really only cite a small part of the 5,000-word document. So what does the rest of the charter say?