15 episodes

Word Journeys is a podcast about etymology and the surprising stories behind the origins of English words. English is constantly evolving and the meanings of words are always shifting. In each episode, we take words united by a common theme and explore how they made their way into English and the historical circumstances which shaped their definitions. For more information or to contact us, visit www.wordjourneyspodcast.com. If you would like to contribute to the show and want to see the perks associated with that, visit our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast.
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Word Journeys: An Etymology Podcast Word Journeys: An Etymology Podcast

    • Education
    • 4.8, 36 Ratings

Word Journeys is a podcast about etymology and the surprising stories behind the origins of English words. English is constantly evolving and the meanings of words are always shifting. In each episode, we take words united by a common theme and explore how they made their way into English and the historical circumstances which shaped their definitions. For more information or to contact us, visit www.wordjourneyspodcast.com. If you would like to contribute to the show and want to see the perks associated with that, visit our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Episode 15: Homeric Word Journeys

    Episode 15: Homeric Word Journeys

    Dallas is joined by Bill Beck to discuss some Homeric etymologies. We take a look at English words which have their origin in character or creature names from the Ancient Greek poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, and explore how and why some minor characters have rich etymological afterlives.
    Word List: hector, siren, mentor, pander, stentorian, python, odyssey
    For more information or to write in, please visit our website at www.wordjourneyspodcast.com or follow us on twitter at @WordJourneysPod. If you would like to contribute, you can visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast

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    • 27 min
    Episode 14: Mapping Out The Sky

    Episode 14: Mapping Out The Sky

    In this episode all about constellations there are etymologies to your heart’s desire. You’ll find stories involving manuscript errors, learn how celestial navigation works, encounter exotic and fantastical creatures, and learn what selenography is in this episode about English words written in the stars. 
    Word List: consider, desire, disaster, mazel, arctic, pole, cynosure, zodiac, tropical, zenith, nadir, Beetlejuice
    For more information or to write in, please visit our website at www.wordjourneyspodcast.com or follow us on twitter at @WordJourneysPod. If you would like to contribute, you can visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast.

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    • 25 min
    Episode 13: Holy Oil

    Episode 13: Holy Oil

    In our first holiday episode, we discover the ultimate origin of the word “Christmas,” along with other words originating from religious holy oil. Then, we use the holiday as an excuse to explore many modern “oily” words.
    Word List: Christmas, Christ, Christian, cream, Kris Kringle, anoint, ointment, unguent, unctuous, preen, oil, menthol, gasoline, linoleum, aioli, petroleum, vaseline, latke
    For more information or to write in, please visit our website at www.wordjourneyspodcast.com or follow us on twitter at @WordJourneysPod. If you would like to contribute, you can visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast.

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    • 16 min
    Episode 12: Land of Black Earth

    Episode 12: Land of Black Earth

    This episode contains two stories about Egypt. The first involves Egypt’s connection to alchemy, and we explore English words derived from that scientific tradition. The second concerns the Romani people, and words that have come about in attempts to pinpoint their geographical origin.
    Word List: Egypt, Coptic, alchemy, chemistry, panacea, elixir, algorithm, algebra, gypsy, bohemian, flamenco
    For more information or to contact us, please visit our website at www.wordjourneyspodcast.com or follow us on twitter at @WordJourneysPod. You can also visit our patreon at https://www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast.

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    • 15 min
    Episode 11: You Have Syphilis - Take a Pamphlet!

    Episode 11: You Have Syphilis - Take a Pamphlet!

    We look into the unique history of the word “syphilis” and trace its origin to a character in a Renaissance poem (involving parrots and Atlantis!). Plus, a story about how a comic lover led to an important word in the history of printing.
    Word List: syphilis, venereal, pamphlet
    For more information or to contact us, please visit our website at www.wordjourneyspodcast.com or follow us on twitter at @WordJourneysPod. You can also visit our patreon at https://www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 16 min
    Episode 10: Jewish Onomastics

    Episode 10: Jewish Onomastics

    In the final episode of season one, Dallas is joined by Ruben Post to discuss Jewish names and naming practices in various times and places, ranging from the Hellenistic Period to the Holy Roman Empire and all the way up to Zionist movement. We discuss many etymologies, translations, and calques, and dive into the specific historical moments which generated many Jewish surnames that are prevalent today. For more information, visit www.wordjourneyspodcast.com. To contribute or to order etymological trivia questions, visit https://www.patreon.com/wordjourneyspodcast. You can stay informed by following us on Twitter @WordJourneysPod or by subscribing on your favorite podcast app!
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    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

dudewithaminivan ,

Hidden gem

This is an amazing podcast. I’ve listened to all of them and revisited most of them. Getting a better picture of the stories each time like it’s a good movie. Dallas you’re the man. Great work.

toomanynicknamesokbye ,

I’ve been waiting for a podcast like this one!

How does this podcast have so few reviews?! I just binged every episode, and sent it to several friends. Incredibly informative and lovely.

Jake Galt ,

Ever wonder where a came from?

Then this is the podcast for you. The narrator does a great job of either taking an ancient word and exploring how it evolved and entered the modern lexicon, or conversely taking a modern word and unpacking its origins. Rather than just recite derivatives and roots, the podcast manages to tell a rich narrative that incorporates the history and culture that accompany the development of language.

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