Weekend All Things Considered (NPR), “The ‘Time Capsule’ Of Mob Lingo At The Whitey Bulger Trial”

June 23, 2013

Interview on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered about the colorful language of the Whitey Bulger trial. (June 23, 2013)

This week, we’ve been immersed in news about mobs both real and fictional, with the death of Sopranos star James Gandolfini and the continuing trial of James “Whitey” Bulger.

The Sopranos gave us a primer on mob language like “clipping” a “rat.” But Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang and his Boston Irish cohort were the real deal. Members of Bulger’s old cohort came to the witness stand and used the real-life slang of their gang days.

That caught the ear of linguist Ben Zimmer, who tells Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that he’s been fascinated by quotes from the trial.

(Show page, audio, related Boston Globe column)

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