45 episodes

Learn about the English language, culture, history and traditions with the Bulldogz team of native teachers and special guests!

Dead Ai‪r‬ Bulldog Z

    • Language Learning

Learn about the English language, culture, history and traditions with the Bulldogz team of native teachers and special guests!

    Vampire - the evolution of the myth

    Vampire - the evolution of the myth

    The Vampire story has always fascinated film makers and now that journey is explored in a new exhibition in the Caixa Forum in Zaragoza from 23 Feb until 13 June 2021.

    Covering the development of the story of Dracula as set out in Bram Stokers work the exhibition charts a course through the depictions of Dracula in Western cinema including a fascinating comparison of the original 1922 Nosferatu by F.W Murnau and the 1979 Werner Herzog interpretation The Phantom of the Night.
    Perhaps it is the relative proximity of the Dracula mania and the birth of cinema that accounts for the unending fascination the medium has with the character, and it is primarily the cinematic evolution of vampires that forms the basis of our journey through irresistible gothic horror. The exhibits cover a range of cinematic extracts, beautiful film production stills, publicity posters, concept art and even original costumes, including those of Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst from Interview with a Vampire.
    There is also a range of graphic novels, TV productions, music videos and manga works that tackle the Count, including Scooby Doo and Sesame Street.
    Entry is 6 euros per head with reduced rates for children or free for caixa bank account holders and three guests. Entry includes access to the other exhibits and once complete you can enjoy a skyline view from the cafe on the top floor and the outdoor terraza.

    Alongside the exhibition is perhaps a unique opportunity to watch a screening of the original 1929 Nosferatu on Tuesday 2nd March at 19.00. On Thursday 4th March at 19,00 a round table will explore the transformation of the Vampire myth in the 21st century.
    Then on Tuesday 9th March the 1958 Hammer Horror Dracula starring Christopher Lee is showing in Original English version.

    Further events include a screening of The Francis Ford Coppola Bram Stoker's Dracula on Tuesday 16th March and Jim Jarmusch's vampire comedy Only lovers left alive on Tuesday 23rd March.
    The exhibition runs until 13th June 2021 so keep an eye out for further events and get your blood lust sated!
    Music : Dracula 2020 by CO.AG Music https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcavSftXHgxLBWwLDm_bNvA

    All film clips copyright retained by authors, no copyright intended or inferred. Montage adapted from Stranger Still Youtube Channel Vampire Montage : https://youtu.be/dGEfTymZulM

    Further information from Caixa Forum Zaragoza web page :https://caixaforum.org/es/zaragoza/p/vampiros-la-evolucion-del-mito_a12643726

    • 3 min
    Interesting Etymologies - more colour

    Interesting Etymologies - more colour

    "Hello again Word Lovers!" We continue our look at the words for colours as we return to our investigation of Black:

    Black: blac in Old English which curiously meant bright or shining, glittering or pale. This seems very confusing. Charly observes that the words for colour is a heated debate among etymology sleuths. There is an entire wikipedia page dedicated to the positions of the Universalist and the Relativist position in this field. Essentially universalists claim that colour terminology has absolute constraints as human biology is the same. Relativists propose that cultural specific phenomena have a huge impact on the development of words. When we read Middle English (The long nights must just fly - Ed) we can never be sure if the word blac means dark, or of no colour or pale. Which brings us nicely to:

    White: Blanco in Spanish. In Old English this is Hwit. This seems to be traced to PIE Kwid which persists in Slavic languages (T)Sv(y)et to mean Light.

    Purple: Represented richness and nobility due to the difficulty in obtaining purple dye. Purpura in Latin, Porphyra in Greek but then running into a wall of "uncertain origin". Some suggest it is if Semitic origin, perhaps the fish from which the dye was obtained.

    Mauve: This is an interesting side note as this word has a clear history rather than etymology. William Henry Perkin discovered the colour in his investigation of Quinines. He discovered this first synthetic dye at the age of 18 and named it aniline purple. It was named mauve in England after the French name for the mallow flower and chemists later referred to it as mauveine. He actually started a dye business and went on to create Perkin's Green (a turquoise like colour), Britannia Violet and alizarin crimson.

    Orange: The fruit was imported to Europe from Asia by the Portuguese and the transformation from Naranja to Orange is well established, even if the debate over which came first the fruit or the colour seems unending.

    Brown: A Proto Germanic word Brunaz from PIE Bher meaning bright or, well, brown. Although the Old English word has moved on to bright with the verb to Burnish.

    Grey: Latin Grex, meaning flock. The same root that gives us aggregate, congregate and gregarious. How this transforms into the colour Grey remains a mystery that no doubt universalist and relativist linguistic thinkers could seek to explain!

    • 3 min
    Interesting Etymologies - Colours

    Interesting Etymologies - Colours

    "Hello again Word Lovers!"

    Red was covered in the PIE again episode but we can take a look at Crimson to start here. Carmesí in modern Spanish, from Cremesinus in Latin,- inus is an indicator that it was adapted by the Romans, originally from an Arabic word Quirmiz. This translates into Slavonic as červená and would therefore explain why the football team Red Star Belgrade is now known as Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda.

    Can be traced back to PIE roots meaning to shine, glow or gleam -ghlei, ghlo or ghel.

    Often defined as the colour of the clear sky. In Homer's works the sea is often described as "wine dark" and the sky as the colour of bronze so even using "sky coloured" as a definition of blue is fraught with difficulty.

    Frankish blao or other Germanic source from Proto-Germanic blaewaz and the Old English blaw. French and Italian have the word as we can recognise it although Italian also has "azzuri" to mean dark blue and of course blue is "azul" in Spanish. Russian does not have a word for blue (a lot of grey skies in Mother Russia - Ed), they have a word for dark blue "sinii" and sky blue "goluboi". Japanese traffic lights are blue not green due to the distinctions they make regarding colours. Find out more about Japanese words in the previous episode

    There can be some cross over between blue and grey and green as well.

    In Old English and Middle English from Germanic gronja, Old Norse graenn and unsurprisingly connected to he word for grass and grow, a PIE root in fact with ghre.

    Latin had Viridis which leads to verde, Primavera, Vivere (to grow) Vert, Verdant, Verdure etc.

    blakaz in Proto Germanic to mean burned/burnt or dark in general. Old Norse blakkr

    • 5 min
    Interesting Etymologies - Japanese

    Interesting Etymologies - Japanese

    "Hello again Word Lovers!"

    Or should we say "Konichiwa" as today we are looking at Japanese. Charly doesn't know if you speak Japanese, but actually he does know, as there are many Japanese words that have found their way into other languages.

    Just some examples to begin with:

    Typhoon, tsunami, karaoke, manga, anime, origami, bonsai, samurai, ninja, yakuza and so on...
    Haiku, Futon and Koi

    Food words: Sake, Ramen, Tempura, Sushi (Which actually means "sour rice" or "rice in vinegar" not raw fish! Wasabi, Teriyaki.

    Suicide : Seppuku/Hara Kiri (ceremonial suicide by falling on your sword - Setsu - to cut Fuku - abdomen), Kamikaze (Divine Wind - From two great storms that saved Japan from the impending invasion of the Mongol fleet of Kublai Kahn)

    Geisha (Gei - performing arts Sha - person) originally any artist
    Types of theatre : Noh, Nong and Kabuki

    Words of Etymological interest:
    Japanese have incorporated words from English:

    Sony: combining Latin Sonus: sound with Sunny.
    Purraibashi transliteration of privacy
    Sarariman transliteration of Salary Man, man with a job.

    This demonstrates a feature of Japanese, when words are taken from other languages they obey Japanese spelling rules. One such rule is that two consonants cannot feature together. (Ed - What about PuRRa?)

    Privacy : Pri becomes Purrai and vacy becomes bashi

    Another rule is that words must end in a vowel with exception to "n" (Nippon)

    Chris becomes Kurisu

    Compound words:

    Fujiyama : Fuji - Fire, luck or happiness. Yama - Mountain

    Honda : Rice Paddy (Was the surname of the founder)
    Mitsubishi : Literally Three Diamonds, which is the logo of the company

    Some words to translate back to English:

    Now we know we can see many words come from English into Japanese and we can see some of the spelling rules that are obeyed, here are some words that you might be able to identify (Watch the video or listen to he podcast to find the answers)

    Miruku :






    Further examples can be found on the pod., including Aisukuriimu which is ice cream

    Verb formation:

    Adding "suru" after the word forms a verb in Japanese.

    Doraibu suru -- to drive
    Kisu suru --- to kiss
    Nokku suru -- to knock
    Taipu suru -- to type

    This curious cross pollination of Japanese and European languages mean that we probably know a lot more Japanese than we first thought!

    • 6 min
    Interesting Etymologies - Changing meaning

    Interesting Etymologies - Changing meaning

    "Hello again Word Lovers!"

    "Are you an idiot, by any chance? Are you naughty or are you nice? Or are you silly?" This episode starts in a rather aggressive tone as Charly sets out to explore the original meanings of some rather negative words.

    Idiot : In the time of ancient Greece, an idiot was someone who was concerned with private ideas. "idios" meant private or one's own. In Latin the word originally meant "ordinary person" or "layman" but by late Latin the word had become "uneducated or ignorant person" (Ed - Which maybe betrays some of the more superior attitudes of the elites of Roman society toward the common man does it not?)

    Naughty : Has its roots in Proto-Indo-European "ne" meaning "not" and "wiht" meaning "creature". Some one who has naught or nothing is often liable to be a "bad" person, they might steal or society might see poor people as lacking in moral fibre.

    Nice : the opposite of nice in modern use comes from "nescius" in Latin meaning "ignorant", itself from nescire (to not know) and also provides the root for the word "science". Somehow this mutated to "being able to discriminate", a nice distinction is something you must seek, a distinction that is not obvious. This mutated to someone who can distinguish things, likes the finer things, the "nicer" things.

    Silly : The word aelig in old English meaning "blessed" or "touched by God" from Germanic "salig" meaning "extremely overjoyed". This "touched by God" theme developed to mean a pious or devout person, a "sylyman" was a man of God. Perhaps the aspect of innocence in the personality of monks or isolated people of faith added to the definition leading to the stupid plus innocent combination we know today.

    Cloud: Was a mountain so cloud literally means "mountains in the sky"

    Awful: Was something which inspired awe

    Dinner : Apparently derives from breakfast

    Surly : Believed to be a development from adapting the idea of "sir" to be a greeting of respect to a show of disdain.

    Travel : Derives from Travail to mean hard work or labour. This actually comes from Trepalium in Latin which was a three staked instrument of torture. (Ed - Sounds like riding a bus in the morning to be honest)

    • 5 min
    Interesting Etymologies - Place names

    Interesting Etymologies - Place names

    "Hello again Word Lovers!"

    In this episode we take a look at the etymology of the names of places.

    Like so many of the topics explored in this programme, the field of interest is virtually infinite (Ed - Well, Global Charly) so Charly is going to isolate some examples and dig down.

    Personal Names

    Charly starts by reminding us that our names have meanings, and many people do not know what their name means. Philip for example means "lover of horses", Christopher is someone who carries Christ, Charles just means a man or husband, Sara (Sarah) comes from a word for Princess, Elizabeth from Hebrew means "My God is in abundance" and Merrick means "biggest knuckle in the fist" or "longest finger in the hand!"

    Common English suffixes

    Charly first explores the meaning of Oxford, which unsurprisingly means the place where the oxen (cattle) crossed the river. Ox being cattle and Ford being a river crossing. Ford, Castle and Church are all very common suffixes in English place names that have obvious meaning, -ton is also very common, a contracted form of "town". Although, this is not always the case. Buxton is formed from Buck Stones.

    We discover how Charly's passion for etymology began in this episode as he recounts his teacher explaining that Hoar frost meant grey frost and the district he lived in was called Harwood derived from Hoar.


    Another common suffix is Cester/Chester which indicates a Roman army camp site. Manchester derives from an army camp of an Anglo Saxon named Mamm. The original word meaning "breast" or "breast like hill" but the modern word derives from the Latinisation (Mamucium or Mancunio) of the original name. We see how the word camp becomes "field" in French and forms the root of our word "Champion". We go into even further depth on the word "Welsh" and "Wales" in the associated article on our website www.bulldogz.org/post/interesting-etymologies-11-place-names

    Slav is from "slovo" and literally means "people of the word" but via the Romans who got their slaves from the region, we get the word "slave". Slav and Slave are similar in almost every European language (not to be confused with Polish "unwilling" or Russian "work").

    The Spanish like to claim the name comes from the Romans christening the land "Hispania" but the Carthaginians had named the region Ispania or I-Shaphan which meant Land or Coast of the Hyraxes. This is an animal that is common in the middle east and it is believed the Carthaginians, being unfamiliar with rabbits as a species, used the word Hyrax instead.

    Iberia is believed to come from the name of the river Ebro which flows through Zaragoza, which itself has an interesting etymology. The original settlement was called Salduie before Caesar Augusto, the Roman Emperor founded a Roman settlement on the site. The Romans referred to the city as Caesaraugusta and this transmuted to Saraqusṭa during the Arabic period of rule, showing the path to the current name.

    Bahamas - Bajas Mares (Spanish for Low Seas)

    Honduras - From Spanish Hondos - depths. There are a wealth of place and country names that are named after the person who founded or discovered them and some have a murky or disputed heritage. But that is for another episode!

    • 6 min

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