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Author: Ray Belli

Ray Belli
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Full Bio : Ray Belli is the host of Words for Granted, a podcast that looks at how words change over time. He is also a professional drummer and part-time ESL teacher.

Episode 75: Grandmother/Grandfather

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...

Episode 74: Sibling

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...

Episode 73: Papa/Dada/Father

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...

Episode 72: Mama/Mom

"Mama" is a mysterious word. In the vast majority of languages around the world, the word for "mama" sounds something like ... "mama." In...

Episode 71: Noah Webster’s Dictionary

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...

Episode 72: Noah Webster’s Dictionary

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...

Episode 70: Noah Webster (Early Works and Spelling Reform)

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...

Episode 69: OK

"OK" is both the most spoken and written word in the entire world. It's such a fundamental part of modern communication that it's hard...

Episode 67: The American Pronunciation of R (Rhoticity)

One of the most defining characteristics of the Standard American English accent is “rhoticity,” or the pronunciation of the letter R. Unlike Standard British...

Episode 67: The Emergence of the American Lexicon

The English spoken in America began to diverge from the English spoken in Britain shortly after British settlers first arrived in the New World....

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