Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

How 'holp' became 'helped'

Studies link frequency of word use to how fast words evolve.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Lieberman, E. et al. Nature 449 713-716 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Pagel, M. et al. Nature 449 717-720 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Inherently Responsive, The Heredity blog

Evolution & Ecology

Related external links

THE INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE FAMILY from the Indo-European Documentation Center

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Marris, E. How 'holp' became 'helped'. Nature (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing