Watch America's Secret Slang

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Host Zach Selwyn walks the streets of America talking to everyday people about what they may know about the origins and meaning of slang in America. He then reveals the true meaning and history of common phrases and words that are unique only to the United States. In every 30 minute show, Selwyn zeros in on specific periods in American history, revealing words of that that era and location that had significance for that particular region.

Selwyn discusses terminology of the military from its origins to the present time. This is where terms such as zero-in, flack, crosshairs, targeted and a host of other terms that are used as American slang. Then, there is regional slang such as Southern terminology such as y'all, road kill, down at the holler.

America's Secret Slang is a Documentary & Biography series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (14 episodes). The series first aired on April 14, 2013. It has mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

America's Secret Slang is available for streaming on the H2 website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch America's Secret Slang on demand at Philo, Amazon, History, Vudu, Sling, Google Play, Hoopla, iTunes online.

H2
2 Seasons, 14 Episodes
April 14, 2013
Documentary & Biography
7.8/10
Cast: Zach Selwyn
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America's Secret Slang Full Episode Guide

  • Examining the words and phrases inspired by U.S. presidents.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by the Vikings to the threat of nuclear war.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by the military, police, aviation and baseball.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by the performing arts.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by clothes, crimes and punishments.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by the high seas, the ancient world, the movers and shakers of big business, and the news industry.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by forms of transportation and different intoxicating substances.

  • Examining the ways American English has been influenced by animals, food, sports--and death. Ever wonder why we say "that's a horse of a different color" or "chew the fat?"

  • Americans have always been interested in food, so it's no wonder that there are expressions relating to food--from New York's "big apple" to "wake up and smell the coffee." So, how did these terms originate?

  • Ever wonder why American cowboys say "'git along little doggies" when they're talking about herding cattle? Or why a losing wrestler "cries uncle?" And why do we say "ouch" when we stub a toe? The answers to all these questions can be traced to the millions of immigrants who've flooded into the US over the past 200 years and created a language that's entirely America. Join us as we reveal the history behind America's secret slang.

  • We learn about the slang words "riffraff" to "betting your bottom dollar", "passing the buck," "acid test" and even "heard it through the grapevine" all come from America's frontier days.

  • We take a look at the American South which has given us words like "y'all" and "rednecks" as well as dozens of colorful phrases like "fly off the handle," "having an axe to grind," and "barking up the wrong tree."

  • Have you ever wondered why someone who can't get it together is called a "basket case"? Or where the term "Yankee" came from? And why do we say someone "bought the farm" when they die?

  • Politics is full of odd phrases like "pork barrel projects," "slush funds," and "lame ducks" -- all of which had practical origins and morphed to mean what they do today.