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America's Secret Slang

America's Secret Slang

Americas_secret_slang _241x208
  • Premiered: 
    April 14, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: H2
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Historical
  • Tags: language

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

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(That We Know Of)
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Plot Synopsis

Host Zach Selwyn hits the streets to ask everyday people what they know about the origins and meaning of American slang, and then he reveals the true etymology and hidden history of common phrases and words that are unique to the United States. In each 30-minute episode, Selwyn focuses on a specific period in American history, revealing words the originated during that era or had significance for the geographic region. The six episodes in Season 1 were: "Guns, Booze, and Politics," focusing on common phrases during the Prohibition Era that related to politics, firearms and alcohol, such as pork barrel projects, slush funds, lame ducks, falling off the wagon, teetotaler, bootlegger, and skid row; "Them's Fighting Words," highlighting idioms popularized during periods of war, from the American Revolution to WWII, such as basket case, Yankee, bought the farm, sideburns, deadlines, and hookers; "Y'all Speak Country," featuring slang of the American South, like y'all, rednecks, fly off the handle, having an axe to grind, and barking up the wrong tree; "Westword Ho!," chronicling common expressions from the American frontier -- riffraff, betting your bottom dollar, passing the buck, acid test, and heard it through the grapevine; "Coming to America," documenting common sayings from immigrants; and "Talking Turkey." On Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT, H2 broadcast the Season 2 premiere of AMERICA'S SECRET SLANG, with host Zach Selwyn returning for a second season. In the Season 2 premiere, "Straight from the Horse's Mouth," Zach looks at the ways that American English has been transformed by animals, food, sports, and death, including phrases like: "that's a horse of a different color"; "that's for the birds"; "chew the fat"; "put up your dukes"; "kick the bucket"; and many more sayings that have evolved and mutated through the animals we raise, the food we eat, the games we play and the end we want to avoid.
H2 aired the Season 2 finale of AMERICA'S SECRET SLANG. In the season ender, "Hail to the Chief" the show looks at the ways that American English has been transformed by American presidents, by the language of sex and romance, by good and bad manners. Plus, it explores how easy it is to insult people of different groups without even realizing it. Did you know who invented the phrase Founding Fathers, and what the Founding Fathers originally called themselves? Or how American presidents popularized terms like "three martini lunch," "lunatic fringe" and "keep the ball rolling?"


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Flight 33 Productions