Bulls, apes, bats and chickens Transcript

Carrie Gillon: Hi, welcome to the Vocal Fries podcast. The podcast about linguistic discrimination.

Megan Figueroa: I’m Megan Figueroa

Carrie Gillon: and I’m Carrie Gillon

Kory Stamper: and I’m Kory Stamper.

Megan Figueroa: We have a live episode. The sausage is being made in front of others.

Kory Stamper: sorry.

Megan Figueroa: Secrets are out. Yeah.

Saying that right away off the bat, it reminds me of the title of the episode that we did with you in 2021, the Moist Towelette of

Kory Stamper: right. The Moist Towelette of podcasts.

Megan Figueroa: Right, right. It’s just lots of, lots of visceral images or, you know, feelings coming up with the words that we use with you, Kory

Kory Stamper: yeah, that’s me. I’m very visceral. I like that within the first minute of this episode, we have used the word “moist” and we have used “sausage”.

Megan Figueroa: Exactly. Like, oh God.

Kory Stamper: Everyone’s gone at this point. No one will listen past this point.

Megan Figueroa: Yep.

Kory Stamper: Nice.

Megan Figueroa: Absolutely. I mean, why would you.

Kory Stamper: Mm-hmm.

Megan Figueroa: But here’s why you would, because let me do a little intro to our friend Kory. Kory Stamper is a lexicographer. Freelance lexicographer. Does. Do you prefer one or the other?

Kory Stamper: Either is fine. I don’t care. I’m not currently on staff anywhere right now. I’m just freelancing more places now.

Megan Figueroa: Okay. But author, speaker, speech writer, and she’s the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, which is fabulous. Working on like 10 other books right now.

Kory Stamper: So bad.

Megan Figueroa: And, you’re one of the talking heads on the History of Swearing. Is it no, History of Swear Words?

Kory Stamper: History of Swear Words.

Megan Figueroa: History of Swear Words on Netflix, which if you haven’t seen it at this point, I don’t-

Carrie Gillon: Go watch it.

Megan Figueroa: Yes. Go watch it. Stop embarrassing yourself by not having seen it. It’s it’s fantastic.

So we’re actually celebrating our fifth anniversary.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: And I know, I know, but when we were talking about what to do, we were like, okay, we should have a guest. Cause that’s kinda, you know, our thing at this point, your name immediately. I was like, oh, I got, we gotta have Kory.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah

Megan Figueroa: just immediately. And for some reason, Carrie, do you even remember why we were both like, let’s talk about “bullshit”?

Carrie Gillon: No, I don’t, I don’t actually remember. I just remember us talking about Kory and being like, yeah, that’d be, she’d be a great guest. She can talk about swears. I don’t remember.

Kory Stamper: I sure can.

Carrie Gillon: you sure can. I don’t remember the conversation about which one I, you, you, you might have just thrown it out and I’ve been like, “yes!” But I actually don’t remember.

Megan Figueroa: Well, you know, what it was is because LeVar Burton was on The View or something like that.

Carrie Gillon: But didn’t that happen after?

Megan Figueroa: No, it was right before.

Carrie Gillon: Okay. Okay.

Megan Figueroa: And I remember like the headlines were like “LeVar Burton Slipped up on TV. What Did He Do?” I’m like, what did he do? Did he like, and I click and it’s he said “bullshit”, like. Yeah. That’s, that’s what we’re talking about. And then of course he was like, “I stand by what I said.” Cause what did he say was bullshit? I’m trying to remember now,

Carrie Gillon: banning of books, he called the banning of books bullshit,

Kory Stamper: right.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: 100%.

Kory Stamper: Yes. He’s correct. Factually accurate statement. Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: Check

Megan Figueroa: ever a thing where yeah, bullshit, it’s certainly banning of books. Right?

Kory Stamper: Totally.

Megan Figueroa: What is this reaction to “bullshit” where we can get headlines like this. And some people are actually like, oh, like, will actually be like, this is, this is a problem. What? You can’t say that on television.

Kory Stamper: Right. I don’t know. I mean. So first, like particularly in America, in case we have anyone who’s not American listening to the podcast, you need to know that broadcast standards for profanity are an ever moving target in the American broadcast system. So if you’re on like daytime TV or like the main networks, you have this very limited number of words that you can actually say without them being bleeped and “bullshit” definitely falls inside of one of those. Like, you don’t get to, to say it. I mean, it’s very funny, cuz it really has to do with the time of day and like where it is. So really it wasn’t just that he’s he said “the banning of books was bullshit”, but then he said “bullshit” during like a daytime TV episode, like right.

Megan Figueroa: The View.

Kory Stamper: The View, it’s just like

Megan Figueroa: yeah.

Kory Stamper: Soft focus programming, like that kind of thing. So, yeah.

Megan Figueroa: So you say time of day, does that mean any channel could have “bullshit” said if it was like after 8:00 PM or something?

Kory Stamper: You know what, but I mean, probably not like, I don’t know,

Carrie Gillon: not PBS, not PBS.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Not PBS. PBS is not gonna do that.

Now. I’m thinking like, so when I was, when I was a teenager back in the dark ages of television, I remember really clearly when I think it was NYPD Blue had the first unbleeped “ass” or “shit” on. And it was like, well, that’s only cuz it was after 9:00 PM and that was only because children were in bed and you know.

Megan Figueroa: Another thing I’ve been noticing about “bullshit” but this is because it’s cable, right?

Kory Stamper: Mm-hmm?

Megan Figueroa: Is that CNN has been saying “bullshit” a lot.

Kory Stamper: right. I mean once

Megan Figueroa: because of the,

Kory Stamper: yeah,

Megan Figueroa: you’re repeating cuz like I think it was during the January 6th hearings

Kory Stamper: Uhhuh

Megan Figueroa: what’s his.

Kory Stamper: So many of them,

Megan Figueroa: one, one of them said like, was recounting something he said, and he said, “this is bullshit.” And so they’ve been repeating this and I,

Carrie Gillon: oh, was it Barr? Was it Bill Barr?

Megan Figueroa: Yeah, it was Barr. Yeah.

Kory Stamper: Mm-hmm yes.

Megan Figueroa: Yes. I don’t remember this happening even on CNN, on cable news before. Is, is something, has something been breached or threshold been met, you think?

Kory Stamper: Well, right, so like, I, I think in the last five years we’ve seen way more or heard way more profanity, particularly in news reporting. So like the big, like brouhaha was when Trump referred to “shithole countries”, immigrants coming from quote, shithole countries.

Megan Figueroa: Right.

Kory Stamper: And that ended up shithole countries ended up in headlines in like the Washington Post and in New York Times, unedited, which violates a lot of their internal editorial standards. But because they felt like it was newsworthy, they were gonna go ahead and print it anyway.

So in the same way, right? The January 6th hearings are newsworthy, they are being entered into an official record and it would feel weird then, particularly in the hearings, to do any kind of editing of profanity. But I also think that it’s, there is a sense where it’s sort of like, this is, I hate the word, but we’re gonna, I’m gonna use it. It’s unprecedented, right? These hearings are unprecedented.

Carrie Gillon: They are though!

Megan Figueroa: Right.

Kory Stamper: I mean they are, yeah. It’s so, so because of that, I think there’s also, I, I think there might be an editorial decision being made to not edit out these swears, like in the reporting of the hearings, in part because this is a big deal. And so when you’ve got someone who’s, you know, Bill Barr saying, you know, “this, this plot to, to take electors is bullshit.” like. I mean,

Carrie Gillon: that’s big deal.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. That’s a big deal. So like,

Megan Figueroa: yeah.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. I don’t think you’re gonna see it in weather reports or anything like that anytime real soon. But

Megan Figueroa: although the heat wave we’re having over here is bullshit. Bullshit.

Kory Stamper: You’re not wrong. You’re not wrong.

Megan Figueroa: so, no, that’s a good point because in the January 6th hearings, they put like a little, I don’t remember if they changed the warning, but like graphic content when there’s gonna be cussing or if it says like vulgar, I don’t remember now be- I think it’s just like graphic content warning when

Kory Stamper: something like that,

Megan Figueroa: talk about cussing.

Kory Stamper: Yeah,

Megan Figueroa: yeah. Yeah. But, and that’s different. I, I wonder why then. Cuz is that on any cha channel? Cause I’ve been watching it on cable news. If I’ve watched any of it, is it like on PBS, the January 6th hearings? Like I wonder if

Carrie Gillon: they must be

Megan Figueroa: the same.

Carrie Gillon: Right? I don’t know. I haven’t been watching them because I’m like, I don’t live there anymore and I don’t can’t handle this.

Megan Figueroa: good for you. Well, anyway, anyway, I’ve, I’ve not heard “bullshit” so many times on television. Ever. And it’s because of these hearings.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Certainly not on like cable TV. So there you go.

Carrie Gillon: They, they do have they do, they are showing the hearings on PBS, so

Megan Figueroa: they are?

Carrie Gillon: Yeah. So I don’t know. It’d be interesting to know if they’re yeah blocking the swearing, cuz that is the one channel that I think they might, but I don’t actually know.

Megan Figueroa: PBS.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah. I don’t know. Anyway, I: “bullshit.”

Kory Stamper: there you go.

Megan Figueroa: And here’s, here’s another reason before I get into like a little bit about “bullshit.” I was writing in Microsoft Word and I put “bullshit” and, and you know what happened? I’m sure you can guess. Blue dotted lines underneath, and it said “vocabulary: this language may be offensive to your reader.”

Carrie Gillon: I mean, technically true.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: It may be.

Megan Figueroa: Right, right, right, right.

Kory Stamper: Get off my ass, Microsoft Word.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so I’m like, “okay. I think it’s silly, but I guess that’s true. It, some people are still offended by these words.”

Kory Stamper: Right.

Megan Figueroa: Like “bullshit,” whatever.

Kory Stamper: Mm.

Megan Figueroa: Why like, can we get a little bit of history of how, why it’s even a taboo word?

Kory Stamper: Sure.

Megan Figueroa: And I guess it’s because of “shit,” right?

Kory Stamper: It’s because of “shit.” Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah, yeah.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Well, I mean, “bull” itself has an interesting history, but it’s not vulgar. It’s just like, it just has a lot of extended meanings. But yeah, it’s, it’s considered offensive because of the word “shit.” So when we do profanity in English, there are different categories of profanity that cause offense and scatalogical profanity is like a big one, right? So in English, “shit” compounds are almost always at least vulgar, if not offensive. And the, the difference.

Sorry I’m using lexicographer talk. I’ll talk like real person.

So like when something is offensive, when you’re doing dictionary definitions, if something is offensive, that means that it actually gives offense. People take offense to things. People hear things and, and don’t like them because they are taboo or they bring up taboos.

Something that’s vulgar, it’s like a little bit removed from that. It’s, it’s like like the difference between being at the family reunion and telling a fart joke and a sex joke. Like the sex joke would be offensive in a family reunion, but the fart joke is just distasteful. Like we don’t wanna talk about that.

Megan Figueroa: Okay.

Kory Stamper: So

Megan Figueroa: that’s a really good, thank you. That’s a really good-

Kory Stamper: maybe says more about my family than I should tell people, but like: welcome, welcome to my family reunions. They’re very weird.

So, so yeah, any “shit” compound is gonna be offensive because it’s scatalogical. And “shit” more than other bodily fluids, honestly. Like “spit” doesn’t, I mean, like spit is gross and a bodily fluid, and I don’t want other people spit on me, but like, I don’t know why we don’t consider that to be currently offensive. So I think that that’s that’s the main reason.

“Bullshit” itself is it comes in like the middle of a long history of the word “shit”. And it’s- so “shit” itself is Old English. It goes back to Hmm 1000, 1100 AD, just refers to excrement, it’s not offensive for a very long time. And then it starts becoming offensive 15th century. It starts taking on a little bit of a, “Ooh, like that’s distasteful. We don’t talk about it.” Especially once we start getting other French words or Latin based words to talk about “effluvia” or “excrement”, those are all French and Latin based and we move away from Old English.

So Old English “shit” sort of starts compounding usually like you get some compounds back to like the 17th century, but “bullshit” itself is a pretty- it’s relatively new one. So “bullshit” comes in beginning of the 20th century.

Megan Figueroa: Oh, wow.

Kory Stamper: Yeah, it’s new. It’s like pretty recent. The first use we have of it is- so there’s a use of an edited “bullshit” in someone’s name back to 1870, but because it’s edited, it’s just “B line S line”. And it’s kind of like, well, this is the problem with tracing the history of profanity also, right? Like

Carrie Gillon: mm-hmm.

Kory Stamper: At a certain point, certain things don’t get printed. And then when you are tracing that history, you can make an educated guess, but unless it’s actually written, you don’t really know. Like, I don’t know what “B slash S” actually means in this case. Like we think it might mean “bullshit”. We don’t really know.

So, so it’s first use as a noun is actually extended. So usually when words, compounds come into English, they have a literal meaning first. Right? So “horseshit”, another “shit” compound, literally referred to horse dung for like a long time before it took on another meaning. A figurative meaning, but “bullshit” gets a figurative meaning right away. So it’s first used I think in 1914 in a letter by let me pull it up Ezra Pound to James Joyce, where Ezra Pound is sending James Joyce something. And he encloses, he says, you know, “I’ve enclosed some bullshit for you to read.” So he’s talking about something stupid, something useless, something frivolous.

Megan Figueroa: Oh, my gosh, I love this.

Kory Stamper: Isn’t this is great?

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Kory Stamper: Ezra Pound, who knew. And then in 19-

Carrie Gillon: no, yeah.

Kory Stamper: In 1915, there’s another appearance of it to mean “nonsense”. Right? So immediately “bullshit” comes in with this extended sense. Which means that like -to a lexicographer that’s interesting, cause it just means that people did not talk about horse like cow shit, the same way that they talked about horse shit or, so it’s just interesting, right? Like, okay.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: Is that because there was more horseshit in people’s lives. Like there are horses everywhere?

Kory Stamper: Maybe, but I think actually some of it has to do with earlier meanings of the word “bull”. So like,

Carrie Gillon: oh.

Kory Stamper: There’s this- so the word “bull” as a verb goes to, to me to mean just like “to talk idly, to say, to say kind of nothing” that goes back to 1850, there’s even an earlier sense of “bull” that means to “sort of joke around and make fun of, to mock somebody”. And that goes back to 1532, Thomas

Carrie Gillon: goodness.

Kory Stamper: Thomas Moore uses it. And

Carrie Gillon: wow.

Kory Stamper: And the, the quote is great. It is “his ass-headed exclamations and all his busy bulling.” So that just means like,

Megan Figueroa: that’s amazing

Kory Stamper: “all of his like mockery”. So you’ve got that sense that, that sort of -so bull from there from 16th century, there’s a noun then that comes out of that verb that means “to mock”, that means, you know, the noun means “a joke, a jest”, and then that, that noun keeps evolving. So then eventually it refers to a particular kind of contradiction, like a logical contradiction. And then in America it refers to a “blunder” in the 1800s. And then right around the same time that “bullshit” shows up “bull”, the noun, also comes to mean “nonsense”. So I think, I think “bullshit” probably has this extended sense right away, because “bull” had extended senses, you know, for hundreds of years prior to bullshit showing up,

Megan Figueroa: did you say like “a bull” means that that you “made a blunder” or whatever. So it’s mostly a verb during all these times, or could, were people using it as a noun too?

Kory Stamper: No, they were using it as a noun too. So like the “blunder” sense is a noun and that shows up in the 1800s, and the first use is in the phrase, “we are guilty of neither bull nor blunder.” so that’s an interesting, you’d think that those are two contradictory things, but if you read the whole thing in context, it’s really clear that it’s, it’s more of an emphatic, like a blunder or a lie or a blunder, or like a, a mistake. There is that sense of they’re similar: “bull” and “blunder”.

Yeah. And then, and the thing that’s really interesting about “bullshit”. And when it came in is that there was actually this huge boom of profanity that shows up in print in particular during the World Wars. So you get a lot of like a lot of the shit compounds actually come from Air Force slang, military slang, Army slang, and, and you start seeing that in print after the wars end because you have all of this interesting, you know, people writing memoirs or people who are sharing letters back and forth, collections of letters from soldiers. So, so even in terms of what we’ve got available in the written record, we have like this giant boom in profanity after about 19 like 17, 18, 19, you just start saying like black, everywhere, lots of printed profanity.

Carrie Gillon: And I usually think of this too, of like sailors.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, you have, so you have like the, that trope of like sailors swearing so much that act like there’s also this trope of like, anyone that worked the docks had like the foulest mouths. So back in the 1700s, you had the fishwives of England who were

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Kory Stamper: Women who like collected, like bought, sold fish were worked down at the docks, but they were notoriously profane. Like whole newspaper articles and pamphlets have been written about like their horrifyingly terrible speech, you know, in that very weird voyeuristic like “we don’t like it and we think it’s terrible, but we’re gonna tell you all about it in depth anyway.”

So. So, yeah, it’s so “bullshit” comes in 1914 and then it just kind of grows from there. We end up getting a just a bunch of extended meanings from “bullshit”. One is like, so if nonsense talk idleness is bullshit, then anything that’s annoying or irritating will be bullshit. Like chores, household chores are bullshit. That kind of thing. That shows up about 10 years after “bullshit” makes it into print. You also have this

great use that shows up in the seventies that, so it refers to an argument. So like, “forget this bullshit”, you know, you know, “quit giving me your bullshit”, that kind of thing. And that actually kind of grows then, and we’re seeing a recurrence of that meaning or an extension of that meaning and the phrase “back on my bullshit”, which is like, I think that first came in- well, I know that there was a Busta Rhymes album called Back on My BS in 2009. 2008? 2009?. I don’t know, my, my early aughts rap history is bad. Sorry, but, right. So that’s that phrase “back on my bullshit”, like, and, and that extended sense of like, back on my argument and argument as a statement that you make sort of a, a stake, a, a claim you stake. And so being “back on your bullshit” is like, I’m going back to this claim I’ve staked. “Back on my bullshit” like has almost no negative, like vibe, like no negative connotation. Like you see it on Instagram or Twitter or social media all the time when people are doing something they really enjoy, as opposed to something that, you know, they’ve, they’ve made an argument about it or it’s something that other people find irritating. Maybe other people find it irritating, but they’re, they’re claiming that is their it’s like.

Carrie Gillon: That’s interesting, cuz like I always interpret it as being slightly negative, but in that last sense, like other people probably think this is bullshit,

Kory Stamper: right? right.

Carrie Gillon: That’s right. That’s fine. Right. I I’m still gonna do it.

Kory Stamper: I myself am back on it.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: So I was thinking about the the sense that you talked about not long after 1914, with like, you know, chores or whatever, or, you know, “that’s bullshit.”

Kory Stamper: Mm-hmm

Megan Figueroa: I think there’s a, there must be a slight different use of “bullshit” here. If you’re like, okay, “I gotta go, go do this bullshit” vs. a child, a kid being like, “this is bullshit.” when they are told to do their chores, right.

Kory Stamper: Right. Yeah, totally. So, so like there, that’s an interesting thing about profanity, right? Is that every use of it has a slightly different tone or register. So you can have things like “back on my bullshit”, which doesn’t have a, a negative or disparaging connotation to it. But like, “this is bullshit” clearly has a disparaging, like you say that to disparage something.

Megan Figueroa: Right.

Kory Stamper: So that, that other use of like, something is just irritating, that slightly ameliorated use is like, it’s still, it’s still an offensive word because you wouldn’t say it. I don’t. I was gonna say, you wouldn’t say it in front of your grandmother, but I would say it in front of my grandmother. You wouldn’t say it in front of like a fictional grandma let’s do that.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah.

Kory Stamper: But, but it’s, it doesn’t have the disparaging sense. It’s just like, eh, it’s kind of like an extension of “shit” where “shit” just means “the things that I have around me are the things I need to do”. Like. Like you go, “I have to go clean up all this shit.” like, you know, it’s not, you’re not disparaging the things you’re just saying, like, “this thing I’m about to do is useless. And I don’t like it”, but, but it’s not, it doesn’t have the same forces calling someone or something else or something that someone says “bullshit”.

Megan Figueroa: Wait a second. So have I ever called someone like “you’re bullshit” do, is that,

Carrie Gillon: I definitely yeah, I, I, I would call someone who is a, who I think is kind of scammy, I might call them “bullshit”. Like “you’re, you’re bullshit.”

Kory Stamper: right.

Megan Figueroa: Like, like NXIVM, like, like cult leaders are bullshit. “You’re bullshit.”

Carrie Gillon: I wanna call the NXIVM leader something worse than “bullshit”.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah. Yes.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: Cause wow. Yeah, this is more like a, like a financial scam or something, you know, like-

Megan Figueroa: okay. So someone who’s in like a pyramid scheme trying to sell me something: “you’re bullshit.”

Carrie Gillon: So I might, I might call someone who’s trying to sell me leggings “bullshit.” Yeah.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: I don’t know if it was because he was raising a child, but my dad always said “bull”, not “bullshit”. So what about, what is that? Do we see that use you know?

Kory Stamper: Oh yeah.

Megan Figueroa: It just depends on the person, if they don’t wanna say the whole thing or what.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. It totally depends on the person. “Bull” is, I mean, “bullshit” is easy to shorten to “bull” because there was already that, that meaning in English of “bull” to refer to something that was useless and that sense- I wanna clarify- that sense of “bull” that earlier “bull” that I was talking about that sort of probably led to the compound “bullshit” actually does not come from the, the cow, meaning it it’s probably, we don’t know where it’s origin is from, but we are pretty sure that it is not tied to the name for the male of the, you know, ovine species. So there are a couple of like cognate terms. So in old French, there’s a word “boule”, which means like “trickery, deceit”. In Icelandic, the word “bull”, it means “nonsense”. Middle English “bull” means “falsehood”. So there’s, there’s kind of a bunch of terms that all sort of show up at the same time that are essentially “bull” that basically mean the same thing, but we don’t know where that’s from, but we’re pretty sure it’s not from the name of the animal because we don’t have any evidence in writing that it was ever tied to the animal, right?

So. This is making the etymological sausage, the way that you trace you, trace words back to previous cognates is a lot of times, words will show up in, in a context where you can see the connection, right? So, so with like the, the word “okay”. We have that. We know where “okay” came from because we have it in writing in the 1800s that “O.K.” was a facetious spelling of “all correct”. And we know that that’s the case because we have this long newspaper trail of people talking about this, this fad facetious, spelling. It was always blamed on young people. Like all this stuff is blamed on young people of, but I am unconvinced that this was a young person thing.

So when you’re doing entymology particularly, if you think like, oh, well, “bullshit” must come from the cow. You’d wanna see some kind of evidence of some, some kind of like linguistic pyrotechnics or like semantic pyrotechnics, where you can see someone might be saying, you know, “this has as much worth as the shit of a bull.” Like then you’d be like, “oh, okay. Alright, alright, now that’s tied to the animal.” So because we don’t have any clear tie between this particular “bull” that means deceit or trickery and the animal, like there’s no way that the animal meaning, like, has any branches that might get close to meaning “”fraud, trickery, deceit, nonsense. Because of that, we don’t, we, we have to say that like, Ugh, we can’t tie that directly back to the word “bull” that refers to the yeah male cow.

Carrie Gillon: It’s interesting though, because like, I like, that’s how I interpreted it as a child, that it really did refer to bull, like the animal.

Kory Stamper: Right.

Carrie Gillon: So, so it’s interesting. Like I think that at least, I did, some people just interpret it to mean the animal, like the excrement, but that’s not how it originally came into English. And that is fascinating. I did not know that.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Well, you know, English also has all of these, we have all these other shit compounds that have animals in front of them. So we have, you know, we have “horseshit”, like, well, and we have “apeshit” and “chickenshit” and “batshit”. So you could be like, okay, well, bull, that must refer to to the cow, which is also interesting. It was like, why would it be a bull? Why would it not be cowshit? Like.

Carrie Gillon: Because bulls are bigger? I dunno.

Megan Figueroa: So more shit. Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: I dunno.

Kory Stamper: Cows in general are just large. I don’t know that

Carrie Gillon: they’re very, very large. They’re very large.

Kory Stamper: The podcast where you learn

Megan Figueroa: about animal sizes.

Kory Stamper: yep. That’s us.

Megan Figueroa: Okay. I have to ask cuz you brought them up: apeshit, batshit, chickenshit. All of these mean or, well, “apeshit” and “batshit” are kind of the same to me. And then “chickenshit” is different.

Kory Stamper: Right.

Megan Figueroa: And then “bullshit’s” different.

Kory Stamper: Right.

Megan Figueroa: How the heck, like, is this about animal sizes? Why do we get such different, do we assume that chickens are scared of things? Is that why we think?

Carrie Gillon: Well, they are , they’re very skittish creatures. They are.

Megan Figueroa: I mean reasonably, so.

Kory Stamper: Right. If, if I saw death at every turn, I also would be scared constantly. Yes. Right.

Megan Figueroa: Yes.

Kory Stamper: So, so some of these come from the, I mean, a lot of these are sort of analogous to the animal behavior that we assign them, right? . We first get “apeshit” in the phrase, “go apeshit”, and also “go ape”. Those are both reported at the same time in a, in a linguistics journal. So like, well, anytime you have reported speech in a linguistics journal or anything or a dictionary, it always makes me sad. Cause it’s like, Ugh. I’m sure that’s that it was in use, but it would just be nice to have actual, not analyzed,

Megan Figueroa: not as organic, right?

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Yeah. Organic use is better.

And those are clearly sort of the early meanings of “go ape shit” and “ape shit” had to do with sort of intensity, craziness, aggressiveness. Like these are things that we assigned to apes. These are traits that we assigned to apes. So that’s “ape shit” was that. And I think the “shit” there is just added as like an intensifier to like, it doesn’t have any lexical meaning it’s not like “go ape shit” like the shit of apes is crazier than- like doesn’t, it’s just an intensifier.

I should also say, like, when you’re doing lexicography and you’re tracing word histories, you can only rely on what’s written down. And that sucks because most language happens in speech. Like you have language and then you have writing. That’s how it works. And we look at writing. Though you can occasionally find now that we have, you know, the glories of the internet and YouTube and things like that, you can hear things spoken. But usually for stuff that’s pre 1980, 1985, where you have television archives, we just have to go off of writing.

Megan Figueroa: And that, you know, means also that you kind of are not getting perhaps like the historically marginalized

Kory Stamper: totally.

Megan Figueroa: And their use.

Kory Stamper: Totally. Yeah, absolutely. And you’re not, it’s not just that you’re not getting, you know, minoritized and marginalized speakers or writers, but it, this gets into this huge issue of what’s considered worth keeping, like, and what’s considered worth- I mean, you could, you could write whole books on, for instance, when dictionaries start looking for sources to mine for new words, or to like, when I worked at Merriam Webster, when I started 8,000 years ago we only read printed edited materials, even though the internet was around, like, it was like, “no, that’s not edited. We’re gonna catch a lot of errors.” But that means that we actually caught, we, we didn’t catch a lot of stuff that was either just being made or just on the rise or only used in like, like only used on LiveJournal or Tumblr, like that’s, that’s how old we were

Megan Figueroa: LiveJournal!

Kory Stamper: Yeah. So, yeah, you totally- so much of this. When we talk about this is when this word was fir, you know, lexicographers are really careful to say, “this is when this word was first used.” We don’t say this is when this word was coined or made because we will, you know, 99.9998% of the time, we don’t know who coined it. We don’t know who first said it. Even if someone claims to be the first person to have said it, like, words sometimes arise independently in different contexts at exactly the same time.

Megan Figueroa: So we’ll never know for sure if Ezra pound was, was the one.

Kory Stamper: Right. He’s the, he’s the first written record we have, so far, until someone digitizes someone else’s letters and then we’ve got that.

Megan Figueroa: Yes.

Kory Stamper: So anyway, getting back, getting back now

Megan Figueroa: to chicken,

Kory Stamper: to “chicken shit”, “ape shit”. And so “ape shit”, the behavior of apes. That’s where we get that from.

“Bat shit” is not the behavior of bats, but it’s a play on earlier uses of like “bats in the belfry” or “batty”, meaning “crazy”. There are a lot of people who are like, “no it’s because exposure to bat guano gives you mental illness.” It’s like, that might be true, but that’s not where the word comes from. “Chicken shit” is, is a “shit” is just added as an intensifier to the adjective “chicken” which meant “cowardly”. “Chicken shit’s” actually “chicken shit” and I think “bat shit” are both military slang, “chicken shit” I know is Air Force slang came in early 20th century. And yeah, it is this idea that chickens are cowardly. And so there we go.

“Horse shit” has a, has use referring to like “horse dung” for hundreds of years. And then it’s, and then it gains another sense of sort of “nonsense”, but “horse shit” and “bullshit” have slightly different connotations, like “horse shit” implies like “absolute deception” where like “that’s horseshit.” Like ” you are lying to me.” Whereas “bullshit” is more like, it just doesn’t like “that’s nonsense.” There’s a little bit of overlap. There’s Venn diagram, but “horseshit” does have a more like deprecatory meaning. Like it is definitely more disparaging. There’s definitely a sense that if someone says something that is “horseshit”, there is an intent to deceive. Whereas with “bullshit”, it can just be like, Well, that’s just “what you’re saying doesn’t make sense.” It’s not that you’re actively lying to me. Sometimes it is, but.

That’s the animal shit.

Carrie Gillon: so we can’t say “I’m back on my horse shit.” Cause then we’re just calling ourselves liars.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. No. You also, can’t say “you’re back on your batshit.” That would be

Carrie Gillon: that’s that’s even weirder to me.

Kory Stamper: There are people that I think are “back on bat shit”, but like,

Carrie Gillon: oh yeah,

Megan Figueroa: yeah.

Kory Stamper: Not a thing I will claim for myself.

Megan Figueroa: I think that I’m back on my chicken shit. That is kind how I go throughout life. It’s like a chicken who’s like, what might kill me.

Kory Stamper: yeah.

Megan Figueroa: emotionally or not.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: Emotionally or physically.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. I think most of us are that way. I think most of us are there.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah. it’s it’s fight or flight. Come on.

Kory Stamper: Yeah, totally. Totally.

Megan Figueroa: Are there any other ways “bullshit” is used? Like, do I say “bullshittery”? I think I’ve said “bullshittery”.

Oh, I’ve said “bullshittery”.

Kory Stamper: Yeah,

Carrie Gillon: for sure.

Kory Stamper: And you can, and you can use it as a verb to refer to like “lying to someone” like “quit bullshitting me”. And that’s a use of “bullshit” that just refers to lying. It doesn’t mean to like, you know, talking nonsense. It refers specifically to lying.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: It’s not as, it’s not as, quite as versatile as” fuck”.

Kory Stamper: No, sadly.

Megan Figueroa: It’s okay. It’s okay, shit.

Carrie Gillon: It’s pretty good though.

Megan Figueroa: No it is. I mean, it, I think it’s my second favorite. I mean, “fuck” is definitely my first.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. It’s a very, it’s very evocative, right? Yeah. Gives like “apeshit” paints a very specific picture in your mind.

Megan Figueroa: Yes.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Visceral,

Megan Figueroa: visceral. Exactly.

Carrie Gillon: Full circle. Yes.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Megan Figueroa: yeah. Are we gonna have to have a warning on this episode about all the animal shit.

Kory Stamper: Right? Yeah. All sorts of parental, you know, content notes like,

Megan Figueroa: oh my God. I wonder if it like in different languages. I mean, I don’t know, like a “bullshit”, what it is in different languages, you know, kind of an equivalent kind of feel. Do you know of any?

Kory Stamper: I don’t. I mean, the only langu, the only modern languages I know anything about are German and Finnish. I’m sorry. That’s all very weird.

Megan Figueroa: let’s see,

Kory Stamper: but oh, ASL definitely borrowed “bullshit” from English. Yes. Isn’t the ASL sign this. It’s like no one can see.

Oh yeah,

Carrie Gillon: if you’re, but it’s horns and you you’ve got your two forearms on top of each other, your right hand is making like hook them horns and your left hand clasps and unclasps: “bullshit”.

Megan Figueroa: Oh, cuz is that the shit part?

Kory Stamper: That’s the shit part. Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve I’ve seen people do it. And I was like, oh,

Kory Stamper: right.

Carrie Gillon: But then, then they’re like borrowing it. The meaning that I thought “bullshit” had

Kory Stamper: right

Carrie Gillon: as like the animal one. So it’s interesting,

Kory Stamper: right? Yeah. I mean, in, so in German “Scheisse” ‘shit’ is pretty mild. It’s not a really, I don’t think it’s got the intensity of “shit” in English and then Finnish “shit” is not really a, like, it’s not one of the big swear categories weirdly enough, like.

Carrie Gillon: What’s the big swear category in Finnish.

Kory Stamper: Oh my God. So it’s, there’s two. The one that so it’s sexual swears. “Dick” or “piss”, and then the C word, which I won’t say, cuz it is offensive to many people. And, but the big one that if you’re in Finland and you say this and people will, and it’s a very quiet country and it’s very like socially liberal country. So no one will look you in the eye. But if you say any of these words, people will sort of give you side eye and that is “perkele” and “saatana” and that means ‘devil’ and ‘Satan’. To say, like, it’s like, that’s like saying, “fuckitty fuck” here. Like people just be like,

Megan Figueroa: they religious?

Kory Stamper: I mean, no, it’s not a religious country, but they have a state religion. They’ve been like either a part of the Dutchy of Russia or part of the Swedish Empire for most of their history. And so like heavy Lutheran and Russian Orthodox influences on the culture. But no, it just like perkele and saatana. That’s like the worst possible thing you could say in Finnish, I apologize to any Finns who are listening.

Megan Figueroa: that reminds me of just how, like, I think it was, I’ve been reading Arthur Spears, linguist and saying like, what is vulgar is going to be different to different people. It’s different, you know, even within the same country city, because there are different groups within, you know, like,

Kory Stamper: yeah.

Megan Figueroa: Yeah. It’s, it’s very The social context is very important.

Kory Stamper: And the social context changes all the time too.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah,

it’s really like, I mean, at the beginning of the episode, we were talking about, you know, back in the, the eighties and nineties, when you started getting unbleeped swears on like 9:00 PM police procedurals on ABC or NBC and, and like that is that’s on unheard. I tell my kids that I have two adult children and I tell my kids, like, “you could not say, ‘ass’ or ‘shit’ on network television.” And they’re like, “what? How?” Like, they also don’t know what network television is. They’ve grown up in a streaming era. So they’re like,

Megan Figueroa: right.

Kory Stamper: I don’t, what do you like cable? Like, no.

And, and it changes. It doesn’t just change throughout time. It changes depending on the, the speaking or signing group. It, so it, it changes based on the user. It changes based on the hearer, it changes based on the context in which things are uttered.

My dad was a construction worker, so like swore constantly. And would call someone a “bullshitter” as sort of like a, you know, a, a mild term of endearment. But if someone really offended him, then that person was “a fucking liar”. Like, so there’s just like, but if I call someone “a bullshitter”, they’re not gonna think that’s endearing

Megan Figueroa: right.

Kory Stamper: So it’s. And that’s one of the things that gets really hard about when we talk about offensive words or profanity or vulgar words, those things, all, you know, traditionally, when we talk about vulgarity or offensiveness, we are privileging a very particular kind of English that is highly formal, incredibly white, educated, mostly male, doesn’t, you know, written. Like, so, so when people are like, “well, that’s offensive.” To some people it’s offensive to other people it’s not offensive. It gets really tricky then just to have these hard and fast divisions, like “this is absolutely offensive.”

I mean, I I’m currently working for a company that writes dictionary definitions for adults, learning English as a foreign language. And I love the, I love the work, but this kind of stuff is so difficult to try and explain. Like, I don’t want adult learners of English to think that “bullshit” is just as bad as like, “fuck”. But we only have one label. like, that’s all the dictionaries end up using is like this one label. And it, and for me to explain how those two things are different is like, that’s a book chapter. Like

Megan Figueroa: yeah. That’s really difficult.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: Yeah. If they’re like in a workplace, maybe they it’s better to err on the side of not using “bullshit”.

Kory Stamper: Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: If you it’s so hard to gauge without a bunch of extra information.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. And, you know, British, you know, British offensive terms are really different from American offensive terms.

Carrie Gillon: Really different.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. And do you want to be, you know, do you wanna give someone sort of the highest register, most formal use, but then that really disadvantages them if they’re they, you know, take a trip to, I don’t know Massachusetts, like, or Denver or LA and everyone around them is swearing. Like that just gets super, super hard after a while. So

Megan Figueroa: yeah, you said at the beginning though, that “shit” wasn’t like a vulgar or offensive word in English,

Kory Stamper: not when it first came into English. It was,

Megan Figueroa: is that because of the social context, people were “we shit, like, that’s what we do.” And like it’s not a clean world or

Kory Stamper: yeah. I mean, you know, I mean, early on the, the earliest uses of “shit” actually had to do with like cattle diseases, like diarrhea in cattle mostly. And so, but there’s also the, the idea of profanity. It’s not like there weren’t profane things to say in Old English. Once you, once you get this really heavy French and Latin influence into the English language, starting in, you know, the 12th century, a little bit the 11th century, but really the 12th century, then you start seeing sort of this- first, you, you start getting just general comments about how English has just gone downhill. And some of them are really funny. Some of them were like, man, we got all these French people in here and they don’t know how to speak English, but most of them, because French and Latin were the literary languages, most of them then were people saying like, “Ugh, you know, the Danes”, which is what they considered all of. The Old English speakers, like, “these Danes are just ruining language and, and everything that they say” it’s a whole lot of speech stuff. Like I have all the things they say, “it’s just grinding of teeth and nashing and wailing.” And so that starts this, this bifurcation of, of like, “we have nice English and we have bad English.”

And eventually as that fleshes out and a lot of that has to do who is in power? What was the educational opportunity of the people in power? Where like, where were they coming from? You know, England was ruled like by the French for like hundreds of years. And then when the Welsh took over, the Tudor line took over, everyone was like, “ah, the Welsh, Ugh.” you know, it’s just like-

Carrie Gillon: and that’s still going on to this day.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Yeah. I was saying not a whole lot has changed in 700 years. But so, so the idea then of profanity itself really starts coming in, I wanna say like 1400s and, and that, when they’re talking about profanity, they’re talking about things that are profane, not just, well, “shit” is an offensive word, but the idea that taking God’s name in vain is offensive or, or, you know, as we go along these Shakespearean, you know, exclamations like “s’wounds”, you know, “by God’s wounds” or, you know, “s’blood” by “God’s blood”. “Odds bodkins”. It’s my favorite: “God’s bodkin” like, don’t have any idea why it’s offensive, but like, there we go.

There was definitely this era of like anything having to do with calling on or, or swearing on God’s name, God’s body, any parts of the, any parts of the crucifixion, resurrection, then that sort of goes out into like saints or- so that’s really what profanity started meaning, but particularly as courtly manners came in 1400s, 1500s, then there were just certain things we don’t talk about in polite company. And that’s where the idea of certain words being offensive, like “shit” being offensive or, or even like early uses of “fuck” being offensive. It’s like, well, we don’t talk about that in polite company.

Like, that’s just a, but that didn’t really, we didn’t have that linguistically until like halfway through, well, towards the end of the Middle Ages, really, if you think of the long Middle Ages being 500 to 1500, which is just a- I don’t like putting dates on the Middle Ages.

Carrie Gillon: yeah. Yeah.

Kory Stamper: So, so yeah. So when “”shit was first used in Old English, it was just, I mean, I, the word in, in Old English is scitan, which I, which makes me think of the word “skidders”, which was like a juvenile way of talking about diarrhea, like where I grew up. Like, ” he’s got the skidders”,

Carrie Gillon: never heard that.

Kory Stamper: Isn’t that weird.

Carrie Gillon: That sounds awful!

Kory Stamper: It does sound terrible.

Carrie Gillon: That’s my moist

Kory Stamper: yes. There we go. I’ve done it.

Megan Figueroa: Okay. Where did you grow up?

Kory Stamper: I grew up in Colorado, but I grew up in a weird space. So I had like, my dad’s family were all from Kentuckiana. So I had a whole lot of like Appalachian English in my vocab.

Megan Figueroa: Okay.

Kory Stamper: And then, but I also grew up in a Mexican neighborhood, so I learned how to swear in Mexican Spanish at the same time that I learned how to oh yeah, it was great. That is all the Spanish I remember. So I don’t say any of it anymore.

But so I got like weird linguistic influences and when I grew up too, Denver was not super cosmopolitan. It was still kind of, there were places that were still kind of like Old Westy feeling. So you would get like, not Prairie language, but like definitely I had neighbors that who are like 80 and 90, who were Okies that came up to Denver, like after, like during the dust bowl as children, it was just a weird space.

Another reason why, when people are like, “oh, where’d you grow up? What’s your language like?” I’m like, “it’s a mess.” Like everybody’s English is a big old you know, mess of like

Megan Figueroa: it is

Kory Stamper: influence from all over the place.

Megan Figueroa: So well, basic. So thinking about all that, I’m just like thinking about today and thinking about Microsoft Word telling me that someone’s gonna be offended.

Carrie Gillon: Well, they’re not wrong.

Megan Figueroa: Are we? I know, but are people still like, is it a visceral reaction to “shit”? Like the “shit” part, because it’s still talking about like bodily stuff and we just don’t talk about that in polite company?

Kory Stamper: I mean, I’m sure some people, I’m sure it is for some people, but I do think, I mean, this is, this is also another thing when we talk about tone and register of words is, is you tend to think of, like when people’s, when you read academic writing by people who are studying profanity, for instance, like those are usually professors or writers who are like adults and are in academia or are out of- like my kids think nothing about the word “shit”. Like in the literal sense, like, my, like, I love my kids so much, but like I have a little bit of a like, Ugh, when they’re like, “I gotta go take a shit.” I’m like, “really?”

Carrie Gillon: I don’t need that level of detail.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Like, you know where the bathroom is. You don’t need to tell me what’s happening in there. Like it’s like, if you’ve got an arterial bleed, then call me, otherwise don’t need to know. Right.

My mother who’s in her seventies be horrified if someone said that. So like, I. Some of this is age, some of this is class. Some of this is issues of, of ethnicity, race. Like what’s, what’s familiar among different groups of people.

And so I think any kind of writing advice is always gonna err on the most conservative side, right?

Carrie Gillon: Yeah.

Kory Stamper: So Microsoft Word is gonna be like The figurative grandma in your head, that is not like any grandma, but like, is the archetypal, like the ur grandma will be offended by these words. So,

Carrie Gillon: and some bosses would be, yeah. It’s, it’s not bad advice. It’s just a little bit blunt,

Kory Stamper: right?

Megan Figueroa: Don’t you think? I mean, when people use like word, like “bullshit”, they know what they’re doing. But I guess cuz cuz it didn’t used to do this with, with words like “bullshit”. This seems to be like a new, as Microsoft is adding more features.

Kory Stamper: Right.

Megan Figueroa: It’s now having these things

Kory Stamper: right. Well, that’s like, yeah. Well, that’s like the thing on Twitter that rolled out a little while ago, that was like, anytime you swear, you use a word on their stop list, basically. They’re like “this might offend people. Are you sure you wanna say that?” It’s like, yes. I am a motherfucking adult and I want to use the word “motherfucking” in this tweet. Thank you very much. like,

Megan Figueroa: yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Kory Stamper: I actually have like, I’ve, I’ve hit that a couple of times and have had such a bad reaction that I’ll make the, I’ll make whatever swear I’ve put in stronger. So like, if it’s just like a “fucking”, I’ll be like, oh, you wanna play that? All right. And then I’ll make it “motherfucking”. I’m like, I can do this. Yeah. Don’t step to me.

Carrie Gillon: it’s only happened to me once and I was very mad and then I, like, I thought about it and I was like, okay, I’m still gonna, I’m still gonna do the tweet. I’m not gonna stop. It’s not gonna stop me. Right. But then I thought maybe it does stop some people who are just like, just really angry and need to pause, but I’m like, but probably not. Because all it did was make yeah make me wanna post harder. Right. I don’t know. Right. I don’t know what the answer is.

Megan Figueroa: Post harder

Kory Stamper: post harder.

Megan Figueroa: post harder

Kory Stamper: sin boldly.

Megan Figueroa: Absolutely.

Kory Stamper: Yeah. Yeah. .

Megan Figueroa: Yes, exactly.

Kory Stamper: I would love linguists out there who might be listening and have tons of time and wanna write this paper. I would read this paper. I would love to do like also a gender-based, like how do, how do people who are women, men, trans, non-binary, agender, like, how do you respond to that? Right. Cause my, my immediate thought is like, well, I, as a woman, I’m policed for swearing because that’s not ladylike. And, you know, I did a, a million and a half years ago, I did a podcast with another lexicographer, Steve Kleinedler. And one of the comments that we would always get is like, my, I mean, people centered on my language and my voice and whatever, but like my swearing set people off. And the same, when I released my book, like all of the one-star reviews on Amazon are like, “there’s no need to swear.” And it’s like, well, I mean, I wrote a whole chapter on the word “bitch”, how am I gonna talk about the word “bitch” and not swear? Like, this is how I talk.

So I get hyper, like I’m hyper sensitive to that because I get criticized for swearing cause ladies aren’t supposed to swear.

Carrie Gillon: Yes. So we were supposed to actually ask you about that. So I was glad that you brought that up. I completely forgot

Megan Figueroa: and, and it makes me think that people weren’t mad at Nicholas Cage and History of Swear Words, were they, they probably thought it was cool that they got to see him say all those words

Kory Stamper: probably.

Megan Figueroa: Samuel Jackson, when he said “the motherfucking snakes on the mother fucking plane” was super cool.

Kory Stamper: Right.

Megan Figueroa: But if a woman had said that,

Kory Stamper: right,

Megan Figueroa: it would’ve been as cool? I dunno.

Kory Stamper: Right. Well also context too, right? Like it’s one thing to see it written down in a book that you think is gonna be like a scholarly disquisition on lexicography. It’s just, just not my jawn. I don’t do scholarly disquisition like,

Megan Figueroa: right.

Kory Stamper: And that’s fine if you picked it up thinking like, oh, this is gonna be like Sidney Landau’s Lexicography: The Art and Craft of Dictionary Making, like, I’m not Sidney Landau. His book is great. If you want a scholarly book on lexicography, read that book. Like I’m a cussy lady who likes to write about weird words. That’s fine.

Megan Figueroa: I love it. I love that about you. Love it about you.

Carrie Gillon: I’m a cussy lady.

Kory Stamper: Cussy lady.

Megan Figueroa: Well, this was so much fun. Thank you for celebrating our anniversary with us, Kory.

Kory Stamper: Thanks for having a fifth anniversary. Woo. Yay. Yeah.

Carrie Gillon: I can’t believe I learned so much about “bull”.

Megan Figueroa: I know!

Carrie Gillon: I didn’t know any of it that. Wow.

Megan Figueroa: I think that everything was new to me. So thank you. And you know, I gotta say before we go, I don’t ever associate “bullshit” with like the animal “bull”. Like I never did. It does not come to me.

Kory Stamper: All right.

Carrie Gillon: Hmm.

Megan Figueroa: I. And then Carrie said it did come to her, but

Carrie Gillon: that’s what it, that’s what I thought it meant. And when you say even when someone says “bull” and they mean “bullshit”, I meant, I, I would see bullshit a bull bullshit,

Kory Stamper: like a bulls, a bull shitting.

Carrie Gillon: Not necessarily shitting maybe the, maybe just the excrement, but

Megan Figueroa: okay.

Carrie Gillon: From a bull.

Megan Figueroa: Not in process.

Carrie Gillon: No, not I’m not an in-process person.

Kory Stamper: All right.

Carrie Gillon: Still image person.

Kory Stamper: Right. Got it.

Megan Figueroa: Well Kory come back when you’re a next book’s out.

Kory Stamper: You bet I will.

Megan Figueroa: That’s good. And we leave our listeners with one final message. Don’t don’t be an asshole.

Kory Stamper: Please do not.

Carrie Gillon: The Vocal Fries podcast is produced by me, Carrie Gillon for Halftone Audio. Theme music by Nick Granum. You can find us on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @vocalfriespod. You can email us at vocalfriespod AT gmail DOT com. And our website is vocalfriespod.com.

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