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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 84: Break a Leg

The etymology of "break a leg" is disputed, but some theories hold up better than others. In today's episode, we look at a handful...

Episode 83: Apple of the Eye

As we all know, the idiomatic meaning of "apple of the eye" has nothing to do with apples. As it turns out, the origins...

Episode 82: In a Pickle

"In a pickle" is one of the oddest sounding idioms in English. It means "in a predicament or bad situation," but it's not clear...

Episode 81: Idioms (General Overview)

This episode begins a new series on the etymology of English idioms. In this general overview of idioms, we discuss why idioms are syntactically...

Episode 80: Cannibal

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...

Episode 79: Philistine

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...

Episode 78: Bohemian

As a common noun, "bohemian" describes an artistic, carefree lifestyle usually marked by poverty and unorthodoxy. The word is borrowed from "Bohemia," a region...

Episode 77: Goth

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,...

Interview with Steve Kaufmann, Polyglot and Co-founder of LingQ

In today’s episode, I interview Steve Kaufmann. Steve is a polyglot and founder of LingQ, an online language learning platform. He also hosts a...

Episode 76: Wife

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...

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