3 episodes

Say What?!

The words we say, why we say them and where they come from.

I’m Jo Vraca and each episode, I’m going to rub shoulders with the glitterati of the English language where we’ll learn that some of the more colourful, and even banal, words that we use every day have very un-English origins.

I will look into how these everyday words came to mean what they do today. So we’ll be rocking through dictionaries AND encyclopedias.

Say What The Podcast Jo Vraca

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Say What?!

The words we say, why we say them and where they come from.

I’m Jo Vraca and each episode, I’m going to rub shoulders with the glitterati of the English language where we’ll learn that some of the more colourful, and even banal, words that we use every day have very un-English origins.

I will look into how these everyday words came to mean what they do today. So we’ll be rocking through dictionaries AND encyclopedias.

    Quarantine - The Plague, Lepers, Covid and Goats

    Quarantine - The Plague, Lepers, Covid and Goats

    When you think of quarantine, what comes to mind? Leper colonies of the past? Two weeks to flatten the curve?

    A hundred years ago, when leprosy was considered a public health risk, people were quarantined off for life. There was no cure for leprosy back then, and while only a few hundred people were ever recorded to have leprosy in the United States, it was claimed that a few thousand were likely to exist in hiding, to avoid a life of quarantine.

    So how did quarantine get its name? And what was quarantine like before the current pandemic? I go back into ancient history to show you that, actually, nothing much has changed.

    Oh, and goats. Goats definitely get a mention today!

    Join me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/saywhatthepodcast

    Please share and leave us a review on your favourite podcast app  including Apple - it makes it easier for others to find the show.
    Or find your favourite listening app HERE

    Sound engineering and original music by Jeff Willis. You can find his tunes on Spotify and iTunes

    Produced by Jo Vraca

    • 16 min
    Vanilla - Cake, Princesses and Bondage

    Vanilla - Cake, Princesses and Bondage

    It's the most hashtagged flavour of icecream, the second most expensive spices in the word, and it's much maligned. How did vanilla go from being a rare orchid that, to this day, is hand-pollinated, to meaning boring? And what does it have to do with bondage? We'll find out in this episode.

    Join me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/saywhatthepodcast

    Please share and leave us a review on your favourite podcast app including Apple - it makes it easier for others to find the show.
    Or find your favourite listening app HERE

    Sound engineering and original music by Jeff Willis. You can find his tunes on Spotify and iTunes

    Produced by Jo Vraca

    • 11 min
    Say What?! The Podcast Trailer

    Say What?! The Podcast Trailer

    Hi word nerds and history geeks, you’re tuned into Say What.

    I’m Jo Vraca and each episode, I’m going to rub shoulders with the glitterati of the English language

    where we’ll learn that some of the more colourful, and even banal, words that we use every day

    have very un-English origins.

    Where do our everyday words come from? Have they always had the same meaning? Who came up with them and who polices them? Yes, you heard me right.

    And it’s not just the origins that I’m going to explore. I will look into how these everyday words came to mean what they do today. So we’ll be rocking through dictionaries AND encyclopedias exploring the what, when, how, who and most definitely the why of words.

    Like vanilla. How did a flavouring that is use in cakes and icecreams come to mean, in some circles boring, hum-drum, run-of-the-mill (and yes, we’ll be talking about bondage and S&M for this one).

    How did vanilla come to mean “basic” when the actual vanilla pod is one of the most expensive spices in the world, requires bees and hummingbirds to pollinate, and only grows in very select climates?

    And how about spinster? Today it’s come to mean a sad and miserable unmarried childless woman (and I have a bit to say about that!) but did you know that a spinster was once an independent, unmarried working woman? And let’s not forget that one of the fiercest queens England was a celebrated spinster (and possibly a virgin).

    And in today’s age of qanon, I’ll tell you how we came to use the term Tin Foil Hat to refer to conspiracy theories. Jack Black will make an appearance in this story.

    And have I mentioned quarantine? Now that’s a history I can’t wait to share with you.

    And we’ll launch a grenade at problematic words that just need to be buried.

    Of course, as an Italian (Sicilain, actually) living in Australia, we’ll head down the slippery slope of Aussie vernacular because it’s often hilarious.

    So who am I to talk about language? I’m a lover and a fighter. I’ll start and end sentences with prepositions because when we know the rules, we can break them.

    I may be a grammar autocrat, but I’m not here to teach grammar and tell you that what you’re saying is wrong. But don’t use whom incorrectly, because that is one word that drives me crazy.

    I’ll say cactuses and octopuses knowing I’ll be ridiculed because I know what’s right.

    I’m a Sicilian living in Australia, I only spoke Italian, Sicilian actually, until I started school, and I went on to study French, Spanish, Italian and French linguistics, so I’m the perfect w****r for this task.

    So… Join me as I travel along the road of words and sayings that we use, pretty much on the daily, but that we never really spare a thought for.

    End

    Do you have a word or phrase that you always wondered about and wish someone else would do the research on? Send me an email.

    You can also find me on Instagram as saywhatthepodcast where I’ll share even more of my daily encounters with words and the people who butcher them.

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Nek nekker ,

Vanilla

Great. Looking forward to the next one. Ps. The vanilla purchased in stores commercially is a whopping 30% alcohol.

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