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Episode 42: Church

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Release Date: 01/26/2018

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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Episode 72: Mama/Mom show art Episode 72: Mama/Mom

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

"Mama" is a mysterious word. In the vast majority of languages around the world, the word for "mama" sounds something like ... "mama." In today's episode, we uncover the reason for this peculiar universality. Spoiler alert: It has something to do with babies.  For a free 1-month trial of The Great Course plus, click here. 

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Episode 71: Noah Webster’s Dictionary show art Episode 71: Noah Webster’s Dictionary

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Noah Webster is best known as the father of the first trust American dictionary. However, the success of Webster’s dictionary faced an uphill struggle during his lifetime. In today’s episode, we examine some of these struggles alongside the things that made Webster’s dictionary so different from the English dictionaries that preceded it.  Click here to sign up for you free one-month trial of The Great Courses  Plus. 

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Episode 70: Noah Webster (Early Works and Spelling Reforms) show art Episode 70: Noah Webster (Early Works and Spelling Reforms)

Words for Granted - An etymology and linguistics podcast

Noah Webster is best known for his "all-American" dictionary, but in today's episode, we take a look at Webster's earlier works including The Grammatical Institute of the English Language and Dissertations on the English Language. In these works, Webster lays the groundwork for his future dictionary, revealing his political motivations for his spelling reforms and advocation of "American English."   Be sure to go to www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/words to get a one-month free subscription to The Great Courses Plus!

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More Episodes

On average, the word "church" appears in English bibles 115 times. However, "kuriakon" the word from which "church" derives, only appears in the original Greek text twice, and its usage has nothing to do with a place of worship. The word "church" is a translation of "ekklesia," a different Greek word meaning "assembly." In this episode, we examine the long and complex history of how the translation of how "ekklesia" was codified as "church" and how this translation probably isn't correct.