About Slang City

Slangcity.com was launched in 2002. Initially created for ESL students, the award-winning site quickly grew into a clearinghouse for all kinds of slang, from words in the latest pop songs to obscure vocabulary from the 18th century.

Though it originally went online in 2002, the history of Slang City goes back further, to founder A. C. Kemp's days teaching English to immigrants in Cambridge, MA in the 1990s. Requests from students led to a class in American Slang, which was featured in the Christian Science Monitor and the Boston Globe Magazine, among other publications.

Because of Kemp's academic commitments, the site went on a ten year hiatus before returning in 2020 with an updated format and new content.

About A. C. Kemp

A C KempSlang City founder A. C. Kemp

Slang City founder A. C. Kemp has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts. She has taught in English Language Studies, now a part of Comparative Media Studies and Writing, at MIT since 2007.

One of her primary academic interests is vocabulary acquisition. She regularly gives conference talks and workshops on teaching vocabulary to ESL students. In addition, she has written on slang vocabulary for the US State Department and the international organization Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), among others. Kemp has appeared as a slang expert on many public radio shows, as well as on the Voice of America (VOA).

Her humor book on obscure vocabulary, The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion: Lady Snark's Guide to Common Discourtesy, was published by Adams Media in March 2008. Kemp has written over 300 articles for Slang City since 2002, and looks forward to creating more articles and features for the site going forward.

Prior to teaching, she worked in graphic design and film/video production. The skills she learned in these fields helped her to create The User-friendly Classroom, a teacher training video series she produced for MIT between 2016 and 2020.

You can contact Kemp here.