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Episode 79: Philistine

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Release Date: 12/14/2019

Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview) show art Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

This 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.

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Episode 80: Cannibal show art Episode 80: Cannibal

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

This 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...

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Episode 79: Philistine show art Episode 79: Philistine

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

In 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.

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Episode 78: Bohemian  show art Episode 78: Bohemian

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

As 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.

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Episode 77: Gothic show art Episode 77: Gothic

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

As 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.

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

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

In today's episode, I interview Steve Kaufmann. Steve is a polyglot and co-founder of LingQ. He also hosts a popular language learning Youtube channel under 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. 

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Episode 76: Wife show art Episode 76: Wife

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

In Old English, the word "wife" meant "woman." In fact, the word "woman" derives from the word "wife!" Today's episode is not only an exploration of the word "wife," but also of a handful of woman-related words whose etymologies and usages share a confusing, intertwined history. We also try to solve the mystery of "wife's" ultimate etymology, but, spoiler alert, we fail.       

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Episode 75: Grandmother/Grandfather  show art Episode 75: Grandmother/Grandfather

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

What makes your parents' parents so ... grand? In today's episode, we trace the etymology and emergence of the French-influenced kinship prefix "grand." We also look at Old English words for "grandparents" and "grandchildren" before the "grand" prefix became conventional. Just for good measure, we also take a look at the kinship prefix "great."  To claim your 1-month free trial of the Great Courses Plus, click here.

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Episode 74: Sibling  show art Episode 74: Sibling

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Today, "sibling" is one of the most basic kinship terms. However, it wasn't introduced into the language until 1903 by a pair of scientists working on genetics. More accurately, "sibling" was reintroduced into the language after 1,000 years of dormancy. In this episode, we look at "sibling" in its Old English context and explore its Indo-European roots. Furthermore, we look into the etymology of "brother" and "sister."  For your free 1-month trial of The Great Courses Plus, click here.

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Episode 73: Papa/Dada/Father show art Episode 73: Papa/Dada/Father

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

In today's episode, we explore the origins of some of the universal characteristics of nursery father terms in languages from around the world.  For a 1-month free trial of the Great Courses Plus, click here.  

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More Episodes

In 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.