title

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Ray Belli

94
Followers
550
Plays
Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Ray Belli

94
Followers
550
Plays
$3.99/month

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Member Community
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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 84: Break a Leg

Ad-free AvailableThe 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 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Episode 84: Break a Leg

Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

Ad-free AvailableAs 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

Ad-free Available"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)

Ad-free AvailableThis 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 MINENE. 14
Comments
Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

Episode 80: Cannibal

Ad-free AvailableThis 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 DIC. 31
Comments
Episode 80: Cannibal

Episode 79: Philistine

Ad-free AvailableIn 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 DIC. 15
Comments
Episode 79: Philistine

Bonus Episode: Vandalism

Exclusive EpisodeIn this bonus episode, we take a brief look at the term "vandalism." It derives from the name of the Ancient Germanic tribe the Vandals. If you've listened to the "Goth" episode over on the main feed, many of the themes that come up in this episode will be familiar! Enjoy.

8 MIN2019 NOV. 27
Comments
Bonus Episode: Vandalism

Episode 78: Bohemian

Ad-free AvailableAs a common noun, "bohemian" describes an artistic, carefree lifestyle usually marked by poverty and unorthodoxy. The word is borrowed from "Bohemia," a region in the modern Czech Republic, but its semantic connection to actual Czechs is nearly nonexistent. In this episode, we trace the long history of "Bohemian" from its origins as an ancient Celtic homeland to the present.

25 MIN2019 NOV. 17
Comments
Episode 78: Bohemian

Episode 77: Gothic

Ad-free AvailableAs someone who came of age during the late 90’s, my first encounter with the word “gothic” was through alternative music and fashion. However, the word was originally the name of a Germanic tribe most famous for sacking the Roman Empire. The journey of the word “goth” through the last two millennia is a classic story of linguistic appropriation and misunderstanding.

22 MIN2019 OCT. 21
Comments
Episode 77: Gothic

Interview with Steve Kaufmann, Polyglot & Co-founder of LingQ

Ad-free AvailableIn today's episode, I interview Steve Kaufmann. Steve is a polyglot and co-founder of LingQ.He also hosts a popular language learning Youtube channelunder the name LingoSteve. Our conversation covers a range of language-related topics such as language learning myths, how language learning has changed with new technology, the relationship between language and culture, and more.

36 MIN2019 SEP. 18
Comments
Interview with Steve Kaufmann, Polyglot & Co-founder of LingQ

Latest Episodes

Episode 84: Break a Leg

Ad-free AvailableThe 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 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Episode 84: Break a Leg

Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

Ad-free AvailableAs 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

Ad-free Available"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)

Ad-free AvailableThis 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 MINENE. 14
Comments
Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

Episode 80: Cannibal

Ad-free AvailableThis 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 DIC. 31
Comments
Episode 80: Cannibal

Episode 79: Philistine

Ad-free AvailableIn 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 DIC. 15
Comments
Episode 79: Philistine

Bonus Episode: Vandalism

Exclusive EpisodeIn this bonus episode, we take a brief look at the term "vandalism." It derives from the name of the Ancient Germanic tribe the Vandals. If you've listened to the "Goth" episode over on the main feed, many of the themes that come up in this episode will be familiar! Enjoy.

8 MIN2019 NOV. 27
Comments
Bonus Episode: Vandalism

Episode 78: Bohemian

Ad-free AvailableAs a common noun, "bohemian" describes an artistic, carefree lifestyle usually marked by poverty and unorthodoxy. The word is borrowed from "Bohemia," a region in the modern Czech Republic, but its semantic connection to actual Czechs is nearly nonexistent. In this episode, we trace the long history of "Bohemian" from its origins as an ancient Celtic homeland to the present.

25 MIN2019 NOV. 17
Comments
Episode 78: Bohemian

Episode 77: Gothic

Ad-free AvailableAs someone who came of age during the late 90’s, my first encounter with the word “gothic” was through alternative music and fashion. However, the word was originally the name of a Germanic tribe most famous for sacking the Roman Empire. The journey of the word “goth” through the last two millennia is a classic story of linguistic appropriation and misunderstanding.

22 MIN2019 OCT. 21
Comments
Episode 77: Gothic

Interview with Steve Kaufmann, Polyglot & Co-founder of LingQ

Ad-free AvailableIn today's episode, I interview Steve Kaufmann. Steve is a polyglot and co-founder of LingQ.He also hosts a popular language learning Youtube channelunder the name LingoSteve. Our conversation covers a range of language-related topics such as language learning myths, how language learning has changed with new technology, the relationship between language and culture, and more.

36 MIN2019 SEP. 18
Comments
Interview with Steve Kaufmann, Polyglot & Co-founder of LingQ

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