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The Dirty Word is a sassy, smarty-pants web show that airs for free every other week on Wifey.tv, the acclaimed feminist content site founded by Transparent creator Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes. Each episode takes a pop culture phenomenon or current event related to language & gender and breaks it down in a digestible, laugh-out- loud way. The show’s creator and host is “Lovable Linguist” Amanda Montell. Read more below!
What makes The Dirty Word awesome?
The Dirty Word is the only sassy feminist linguistics show on the internet! Episodes talk about things like why television scripts are allowed to use the word “penis” more than the word “vagina,” feature drinking games surrounding gender-neutral pronouns, and host a myriad of hilarious celebrity guests. It’s the sort of simple, yet fascinating stuff you could bring to a dinner party and have everyone think you’re the most interesting person at the table. If you’re a word nerd with an affinity for pop culture, or a pop culture junkie with an interest in words (or just a curious person in general), there’s something for you here.
What inspired the show?
I honestly can’t believe this show doesn’t exist already! Have you ever been curious about why people talk the way they do? Or how the way someone speaks informs who they are? I’ve always been curious about this kind of thing—topics like dialects and slang, and how it all informs identity, particularly gender. My focus in college was gender and language, and I’ll never forget how hooked I got on studying things as simple as why my boyfriend hates it when I call him “dude,” or why women tend to raise their intonation at the ends of sentences. So many people are hungry to learn about this stuff. But I was dumbstruck to find how new the field is—we’re talking 30, 40 years. A lot of what inspired the show was this widespread fascination with language and gender, but a lack of resources for people who aren’t, say, currently in a grad school classroom. We also took inspiration from cool web shows like Laci Green and AsapTHOUGHT, and put something together that I hope people will think is both intellectually fixating and fun as heck.
What can viewers expect?
So. much. We’re talking about gross words we hate, and why we hate them (words like “moist” and “panties” … don’t you want to know why we hate the word panties??). We’re talking about pronouns and vocal fry, slang and “Internet speak.” You can expect a slew of amazing special guests, like Gaby Dunn, Jessie Kahnweiler, and Emily Robinson, who will make you laugh your booty off. You can expect booze and games, hilarious memes, embarrassing pictures of me as a child, and a list of ridiculous potential nicknames for your (or your partner’s!) vagina. It’s going to be the best. Everyone’s excited. Tune in on Wifey.tv or Wifey’s YouTube channel!”