Totally off-topic, but I have to take a moment here and announce the publication of my new book!


“Who doesn’t want to run away and join the carnival? In 1937, my grandparents did just that. They only toured for a year, but they left with a special gift that – much later – they passed on to me: the secret language of the carnival folk.”

Part memoir, part cultural history, part linguistic exploration, The Secret History of Carnival Talk traces the evolution of this curious manner of speech from its origins on the midway to its use by wrestlers, rappers and children at play. The text is accompanied by 30 fascinating photographs of a Depression-era travelling carnival.

Available directly from Createspace, from, or from your local independent or major bookstore. Signed copies plus postcards and prints of the original photographs available at the Carnival Talk Etsy Shop.

Find out more at You can also play with an English-to-Carny translator, view bonus photos, and more!