Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Maya Ravindranath


This article presents a synchronic study of wicked and other intensifiers in Southern New Hampshire. Two sets of data were collected: one from the social media website Twitter, and the other from spoken casual interviews conducted by students at the University of New Hampshire. In all, more than 9000 intensifiable adjectives and verbs were collected, with rates of 22 and 24 per cent intensification for the Twitter and spoken data, respectively. The first goal of this paper is to show that one intensifier in particular, wicked, is in the process of grammaticalizing through the mechanisms of desemanticization and extension. The second goal of the paper is to provide an overview of the current system of intensifiers in New Hampshire.