This podcast explores the word hon as it is used as a linguistic and identity marker in Baltimore, Maryland. Not only used as a back clipping of honey, other usages include the “verbing” of hon, as in My mother will hon you to death or She's all honned up. The use of the word hon in Baltimore is also evolving. Contextualized with a discussion of Balmerese, the term that locals use to refer to the white, working-class Baltimore dialect or accent, the podcast also explores how the word hon has been commercialized and commodified and how Hon has become a branded identity. Through interviews with members of a local senior center, participants in the annual Honfest summer festival, clerks and staff at the Hontown store and the Café Hon restaurant, other local residents, and two cultural and linguistic experts, a complex story of hon and Hon in Baltimore unfolds that speaks to themes of linguistic and cultural identity, authenticity, insider/outsider status, and sensitivities around social class, race/ethnicity, and generational lines.

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