93 episodes

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.

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast Ray Belli

    • Language Learning
    • 4.9 • 11 Ratings

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.

    Episode 88: Egg

    Episode 88: Egg

    The word "egg" plays a part in one of the most famous anecdotes in the written record about the evolution of the English language. In this episode, we consider the implications of that story and the look into the etymology of "egg" and some of its cognates. (What's with the "egg" in the idiom "to egg on," you ask? Yeah, we cover that too.) 

    • 18 min
    Proto Indo-Europeans with Kevin Stroud of The History of English Podcast

    Proto Indo-Europeans with Kevin Stroud of The History of English Podcast

    This episode features a conversation I had with Kevin Stroud of the History of English Podcast at this year's virtual Intelligent Speech conference. We discussed reasons why the history of the Proto Indo-Europeans - the linguistic ancestors of nearly half the world's population - remains obscure to the general public. If you're thinking racist, pseudoscientific scholarship that led to the concept of the Aryan race during World War II might be to blame, we think so too. 

    For the video of our conversation, follow this link:

    https://www.crowdcast.io/e/intelligentspeech/40

    • 40 min
    Episode 87: Dead Ringer

    Episode 87: Dead Ringer

    The idiom "dead ringer" comes down to us from horse-racing slang, but a widely believed folk etymology links the idiom's origins to being buried alive. In this episode, we debunk the myths and get down to the written evidence behind the emergence of this phrase. 

    I'll be speaking with Kevin Stroud from the History of English podcast about the Proto Indo-Europeans at this year's Intelligent Speech Conference. To purchase tickets, follow this link. 

    • 14 min
    Episode 86: Red Herring

    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 min
    Episode 85: The Proof Is in the Pudding

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

    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 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

planet Perth ,

Very inderesding podcast.

But the presenter doesn’t pronounce his T’s thus:

Latin becomes Ladin.
Note becomes Node
Subtle becomes Suddle
Diety becomes Diedy
Important becomes impordant
Etymology becomes edymology

It is slightly IRRIDADING. 😄
Maybe a blocked node?

Notcharizard ,

Interesting and happy-making

This is a great podcast, they go into the etymology of a word really deeply, but not on the information seems unnecessary or extra. I like the voice of the presenter too, always upbeat about what they talk about!

Bhaumikkumar ,

Interesting

Sometimes introductio and music takes up a lot of time. More focus on content would be better.

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