The women's vocabulary hoax

Amy L Sheldon asheldon at TC.UMN.EDU
Thu May 10 02:21:12 UTC 2001

Counting slang and jargon?

I recently heard that an adult speaker has about 60,000 "words", but I
don't think a source for this claim was given.  One would have to know the

Vocabulary size must vary by factors like education, literacy,
employment, skills, etc., perhaps even multilingualism.


On Wed, 9 May 2001, gabriella Modan wrote:

> Today a student asked me if it was true that "women have 4000 more words
> than men".  Has anyone ever heard of this myth or seen it discussed in any
> scholarly or popular literature?
> Galey Modan

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