DURHAM, N.C. — Beverly Mahone is living out her passion. The part-time N.C. Central University writing consultant spends her days creating word of the day videos for people on TikTok as a way to help them expand their vocabulary.

What You Need To Know

  • Beverly Mahone is a part-time writing consultant at N.C. Central University

  • Mahone started her TikTok account in May 2021 as a way to teach people new words to expand their vocabulary

  • Mahone is known on the platform as "Auntie Bev"

“I try to find things that are relevant to something that may be going on, some type of event or just something that would be useful in everyday conversation,” Mahone said.

Seven days a week, Mahone spends time creating TikTok videos, finding new words each day to share with her online audience.

“I feel like this is my real full-time job, because I get up in the morning to prepare for TikTok, and before I go to bed, I prepare for TikTok day,” she said.

The retired journalist is known on the social media platform under the account "Bev Speaks," but most users know her as "Auntie Bev."

“I was sitting here and my daughter said, 'you know what, you can be Auntie Bev, the kids love you and everyone loves their favorite auntie,'” Mahone said.

Mahone was looking for a way to make an extra income because of the pandemic, and thought people may be in need of vocabulary coaching.

“My grandson was the one who said 'grandma, there is a lot of people out there, a lot of young people on TikTok, and they don’t know those words and if you’re giving them those words and you’re giving them to them in a way they can understand it, they’ll definitely follow you,” Mahone said.

Auntie Bev made her TikTok debut in May 2021. At the time, Mahone said she didn’t even know how to work the platform. Her account has grown to exceed 420,000 followers, with her videos being viewed close to five million times.

“I am learning as I do more and more that people want to be entertained, but they really want to be educated,” Mahone said.

The success of Mahone’s Tik Tok is opening up doors for her to do more, including hosting an online vocabulary challenge with competitors from all over the world.

The vocabulary challenge "Word Up!" will be livestreamed on Facebook on January 7 and will run through September. As competitors win each round, they will be awarded $25 each time they advance.

“The unique aspect of the challenge is the contestants get to decide what words they want their opponent to define from a list of words they are given by me,” Mahone said.

The Vocabulary Challenge is being sponsored by American Advisors Group, who will award the final grand champion a prize of $500.

“It’s been my vision and now it’s coming true. You may not know every word, but you’ll learn in the process and that’s the cool thing that you’re learning something new and you can add that to your vocabulary bank,” Mahone said.

Mahone says she has found her passion.

“You know the good thing about vocabulary, there’s a trillion words, so as long as I am alive I can find a word,” Mahone said.