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Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Ray Belli

107
Followers
802
Plays
Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Ray Belli

107
Followers
802
Plays
$3.99/month

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Hear my episodes ads free! Get one bonus episode per series! Get access to episodes one day early! Become part of the private member community where you can talk directly to me and other fans!

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About Us

Words for Granted is a podcast that looks at how words change over time. Host Ray Belli uses linguistic evolution as a way of understanding larger historical and cultural changes.

Member Benefits

As a Words for Granted member on Himalaya, you’ll have access to bonus episodes, ad-free episodes, and transcripts. Through Himalaya’s Community feature, you’ll also be able to directly engage in discussions with me and other fans of the show. All language-oriented topics are welcome! Additionally, I’ll occasionally post “behind the scenes” content such as reading lists and blooper videos of my recording process. Creating a single 25-minute podcast can take upwards of 40 hours of research, writing, and recording time, so your membership goes a long way!

Latest Episodes

Episode 86: Red Herring

The idiom "red herring" is used to describe a distraction from the matter at hand. Literally, a "red herring" is a kipper––that is, a smoked and salted sliced fish––but why would such a fish become an expression for a distraction? In this episode, we debunk a popular myth surrounding the idiom's etymology by close reading a handful of selections from the written record and drawing on the most recent scholarship.

20 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Episode 86: Red Herring

Episode 85: The Proof Is in the Pudding

Of all places, why do we put the "proof" in the "pudding?" Like many idioms whose origins date back several centuries, the connection between the literal and figurative meanings of "the proof is in the pudding" is no longer clear in Modern English. "The proof is in the pudding" is actually a shortened corruption of the idiom "the proof of the pudding is in the eating," but that's still not the full story; in the 17th century when the idiom was first used, both "proof" and "pudding" had different meanings than they do today. Listen to Words for Granted on Lyceum, a new app that curates and builds community around great educational audio.

16 MINAPR 27
Comments
Episode 85: The Proof Is in the Pudding

Interview with Simon Horobin, Author of "Bagels, Bumf, and Buses"

In today's episode, I talk with Simon Horobin, Oxford professor and author of "Bagels, Bumf and Buses: A Day in the Life of the English Language," a book that explores the etymology of common words we encounter every day. In addition to discussing Simon's latest book, we discuss a range of language topics including the standardization of grammar, the history of spelling, and more. You can purchase "Bagels, Bumf, and Buses" here. Click here 25% off your first order with Literati. Listen to Words for Granted on Lyceum, a curated podcast app featuring educational podcasts.

42 MINAPR 12
Comments
Interview with Simon Horobin, Author of "Bagels, Bumf, and Buses"

**Introducing Lyceum**

Lyceum is a new educational audio platform that curates, creates, and builds community around educational audio. You can find Words for Granted there as part of the curated "Words with Friends" collection and join the discussion room to chat with me and other listeners.

56 sAPR 8
Comments
**Introducing Lyceum**

Episode 84: Break a Leg

The etymology of "break a leg" is disputed, but some theories hold up better than others. In today's episode, we look at a handful of plausible explanations for how "break a leg" became theater slang for "good luck" and also bust a few etymological myths surrounding the idiom. Today's episode is brought to you by Yabla. Click here for your risk-free 15-day trial.

23 MINMAR 25
Comments
Episode 84: Break a Leg

Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

As we all know, the idiomatic meaning of "apple of the eye" has nothing to do with apples. As it turns out, the origins of the idiom also have nothing to do with apples. In this episode, we look at how the English translation of an old Hebrew expression found in the Old Testament unintentionally defined our modern sense of the idiom "apple of the eye."

20 MINFEB 24
Comments
Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

Episode 82: In a Pickle

"In a pickle" is one of the oddest sounding idioms in English. It means "in a predicament or bad situation," but it's not clear what pickles have to do with anything. In this episode, we look at the origins of both the phrase and the word "pickle" itself.

19 MINFEB 5
Comments
Episode 82: In a Pickle

Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

This episode begins a new series on the etymology of English idioms. In this general overview of idioms, we discuss why idioms are syntactically and semantically peculiar, how idioms emerge, how idioms fossilize archaic grammar, and more. Today's episode is brought to you by Yabla. To try Yabla 15-day free trial of Yabla, click here.

22 MINJAN 14
Comments
Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

Episode 80: Cannibal

This episode is brought to you by Yabla. Language immersion with authentic video. For your risk-free 15-day trial, sign up here. The word "cannibal" comes to us by way of a familiar historical figure: Christopher Columbus. The word is ultimately a Hispanicization of the name of an indigenous American group today known as the Caribs. Through Columbus' unreliable portrayal of the Caribs in his travel log, "cannibal" came to refer to "a person who eats human flesh." In this episode, we explore the evolution of the meaning of "cannibal" in Columbus' own journal and how that single word impacted the colonial history of the Americas.

30 MIN2019 DEC 31
Comments
Episode 80: Cannibal

Episode 79: Philistine

In common usage, a "philistine" is a derogatory term for an anti-intellectual materialist. The word derives from the ancient Middle Eastern Philistines, a people best known as an early geopolitical enemy of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. The historical Philistines were far from "philistines" (note the lowercase P). The circumstance by which the latter derives from the former can be traced back to a murder in the 17th century German city of Jena. (Yes, actually.) For a free 10-day trial of Simple Contacts, click here.

25 MIN2019 DEC 15
Comments
Episode 79: Philistine

Latest Episodes

Episode 86: Red Herring

The idiom "red herring" is used to describe a distraction from the matter at hand. Literally, a "red herring" is a kipper––that is, a smoked and salted sliced fish––but why would such a fish become an expression for a distraction? In this episode, we debunk a popular myth surrounding the idiom's etymology by close reading a handful of selections from the written record and drawing on the most recent scholarship.

20 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Episode 86: Red Herring

Episode 85: The Proof Is in the Pudding

Of all places, why do we put the "proof" in the "pudding?" Like many idioms whose origins date back several centuries, the connection between the literal and figurative meanings of "the proof is in the pudding" is no longer clear in Modern English. "The proof is in the pudding" is actually a shortened corruption of the idiom "the proof of the pudding is in the eating," but that's still not the full story; in the 17th century when the idiom was first used, both "proof" and "pudding" had different meanings than they do today. Listen to Words for Granted on Lyceum, a new app that curates and builds community around great educational audio.

16 MINAPR 27
Comments
Episode 85: The Proof Is in the Pudding

Interview with Simon Horobin, Author of "Bagels, Bumf, and Buses"

In today's episode, I talk with Simon Horobin, Oxford professor and author of "Bagels, Bumf and Buses: A Day in the Life of the English Language," a book that explores the etymology of common words we encounter every day. In addition to discussing Simon's latest book, we discuss a range of language topics including the standardization of grammar, the history of spelling, and more. You can purchase "Bagels, Bumf, and Buses" here. Click here 25% off your first order with Literati. Listen to Words for Granted on Lyceum, a curated podcast app featuring educational podcasts.

42 MINAPR 12
Comments
Interview with Simon Horobin, Author of "Bagels, Bumf, and Buses"

**Introducing Lyceum**

Lyceum is a new educational audio platform that curates, creates, and builds community around educational audio. You can find Words for Granted there as part of the curated "Words with Friends" collection and join the discussion room to chat with me and other listeners.

56 sAPR 8
Comments
**Introducing Lyceum**

Episode 84: Break a Leg

The etymology of "break a leg" is disputed, but some theories hold up better than others. In today's episode, we look at a handful of plausible explanations for how "break a leg" became theater slang for "good luck" and also bust a few etymological myths surrounding the idiom. Today's episode is brought to you by Yabla. Click here for your risk-free 15-day trial.

23 MINMAR 25
Comments
Episode 84: Break a Leg

Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

As we all know, the idiomatic meaning of "apple of the eye" has nothing to do with apples. As it turns out, the origins of the idiom also have nothing to do with apples. In this episode, we look at how the English translation of an old Hebrew expression found in the Old Testament unintentionally defined our modern sense of the idiom "apple of the eye."

20 MINFEB 24
Comments
Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

Episode 82: In a Pickle

"In a pickle" is one of the oddest sounding idioms in English. It means "in a predicament or bad situation," but it's not clear what pickles have to do with anything. In this episode, we look at the origins of both the phrase and the word "pickle" itself.

19 MINFEB 5
Comments
Episode 82: In a Pickle

Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

This episode begins a new series on the etymology of English idioms. In this general overview of idioms, we discuss why idioms are syntactically and semantically peculiar, how idioms emerge, how idioms fossilize archaic grammar, and more. Today's episode is brought to you by Yabla. To try Yabla 15-day free trial of Yabla, click here.

22 MINJAN 14
Comments
Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

Episode 80: Cannibal

This episode is brought to you by Yabla. Language immersion with authentic video. For your risk-free 15-day trial, sign up here. The word "cannibal" comes to us by way of a familiar historical figure: Christopher Columbus. The word is ultimately a Hispanicization of the name of an indigenous American group today known as the Caribs. Through Columbus' unreliable portrayal of the Caribs in his travel log, "cannibal" came to refer to "a person who eats human flesh." In this episode, we explore the evolution of the meaning of "cannibal" in Columbus' own journal and how that single word impacted the colonial history of the Americas.

30 MIN2019 DEC 31
Comments
Episode 80: Cannibal

Episode 79: Philistine

In common usage, a "philistine" is a derogatory term for an anti-intellectual materialist. The word derives from the ancient Middle Eastern Philistines, a people best known as an early geopolitical enemy of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. The historical Philistines were far from "philistines" (note the lowercase P). The circumstance by which the latter derives from the former can be traced back to a murder in the 17th century German city of Jena. (Yes, actually.) For a free 10-day trial of Simple Contacts, click here.

25 MIN2019 DEC 15
Comments
Episode 79: Philistine
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