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Ever wondered what they called anal sex in the 16th century, or cunnilingus during World War II?

Ever wonder what sex was called in the 1600s, how you might ask for a blowjob during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, or how your great-grandfather might have asked for anal sex?

Following up on his research which gave us 2,600 words for genitalia throughout the ages, slang lexicographer Jonathon Green has given us three amazing new resources, describing what sexual intercourse, oral and anal, and sexual secretions and contraceptives have been called at various points over the last 700 years.

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What’s clear enough for now is that irony tends to require deeper processing and engagement when it’s new or unexpected. Which may may help explain why we can hum along so mindlessly to the irony-less “Ironic” but expend a bit more mental energy to keep up with the irony-filled spoof. It’s also why you can blow your own mind for a second by considering that maybe Alanis left irony out of “Ironic” because she saw that as the ultimate irony.

Why You’re Bad At Understanding Irony
Got an emotion that you can’t quite find the words for? The Emotionary can probably help. It’s a website that invents new words for those moments when you just can’t find the right one.
Help us come up with more words that describe modern emotions. Here, a few you’ve submitted so far:
Elacceleration: The belief that pushing an elevator button repeatedly will make it come faster. 
Sarcasmus: Sarcastic + charismatic
Thinkonit: To postpone.

What other modern emotions don’t have words for them?

Got an emotion that you can’t quite find the words for? The Emotionary can probably help. It’s a website that invents new words for those moments when you just can’t find the right one.

Help us come up with more words that describe modern emotions. Here, a few you’ve submitted so far:

  • Elacceleration: The belief that pushing an elevator button repeatedly will make it come faster. 
  • Sarcasmus: Sarcastic + charismatic
  • Thinkonit: To postpone.

What other modern emotions don’t have words for them?

Got an emotion that you can’t quite find the words for? The Emotionary can probably help. It’s a website that invents new words for those moments when you just can’t find the right one.

Help us come up with more words that describe modern emotions. We’ll make a list of your responses! Which ones can you think of?

Parents of the world, get jealous: in a talk for TED, cognitive scientist Deb Roy revealed his amazing experiment in which he and his wife documented every home moment of his son’s first five years on this planet. And you thought you had it bad when you had to pose for photos at Thanksgiving.

From the day he and his wife brought their son home five years ago, the family’s every movement and word was captured and tracked with a series of fisheye lenses in every room in their house. The purpose was to understand how we learn language, in context, through the words we hear.
A combination of new software and human transcription called Blitzscribe allowed them to parse 200 terabytes of data to capture the emergence and refinement of specific words in Roy’s son’s vocabulary. (Luckily, the boy was an early talker.) In one 40-second clip, you can hear how “gaga” turned into “water” over the course of six months. In a video clip, below, you can hear and watch the evolution of “ball.”
Unreal 3-D visualizations allowed his team to zoom through the house like a dollhouse and map the utterance of each word in its context. In a landscape-like image with peaks and valleys, you can see that the word “water” was uttered most often in the kitchen, while “bye” took place at the door.

Check out more—plus videos!—over at our website.

Parents of the world, get jealous: in a talk for TED, cognitive scientist Deb Roy revealed his amazing experiment in which he and his wife documented every home moment of his son’s first five years on this planet. And you thought you had it bad when you had to pose for photos at Thanksgiving.

From the day he and his wife brought their son home five years ago, the family’s every movement and word was captured and tracked with a series of fisheye lenses in every room in their house. The purpose was to understand how we learn language, in context, through the words we hear.

A combination of new software and human transcription called Blitzscribe allowed them to parse 200 terabytes of data to capture the emergence and refinement of specific words in Roy’s son’s vocabulary. (Luckily, the boy was an early talker.) In one 40-second clip, you can hear how “gaga” turned into “water” over the course of six months. In a video clip, below, you can hear and watch the evolution of “ball.”

Unreal 3-D visualizations allowed his team to zoom through the house like a dollhouse and map the utterance of each word in its context. In a landscape-like image with peaks and valleys, you can see that the word “water” was uttered most often in the kitchen, while “bye” took place at the door.

Check out more—plus videos!—over at our website.