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A cheeky investigation: tracking the semantic change of cheeky from monkeys to wines

Bailey, Laura R. and Durham, Mercedes 2020. A cheeky investigation: tracking the semantic change of cheeky from monkeys to wines. English Today

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Abstract

The present study focuses on the word cheeky which, in the past few decades, has taken on a new meaning (‘mildly illicit’) in addition to, and partly overtaking, its original meaning (‘impudent’). We examine how this semantic change is spreading in different age groups and in different parts of the English-speaking world. As we demonstrate, the newer meaning of cheeky is associated with younger speakers, so we examine whether this correlates with different age groups’ understanding of the new form. Furthermore, in its original sense, c heeky was used more frequently in the United Kingdom than in North America. If the earlier meaning was already marked for North America, how is the newer form understood by speakers there?

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0266-0784
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 March 2020
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 11:17
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131147

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