ShowAfrican-American English

Black English, also known as African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or African American Language (AAL), refers to language shared by many Black Americans. It is not merely slang, although its speakers may use slang, nor is it bad or broken English. It diverges from common English in predictable, rules-based ways, influenced by origin, contact, community, and settlement.

Boo-Boo the Fool

Who is Boo-Boo the Fool? A listener wonders if this African-American character has any relation the Puerto Rican fool, Juan Bobo. Martha draws a connection to the Spanish term bobo, meaning “fool,” and its Latin root balbus, meaning...

Palmer-Housing

Among some African-Americans, the term palmer-housing means, “walking with an unusual gait.” A screenwriter connects some dots in his own family’s history when he asks about the origin. This is part of a complete episode.

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