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Author: 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 100: Google

Before Google was the name of one of the world's biggest tech companies, "googol" was an obscure math term that meant "ten to the...

Episode 96: Lost Letters: Wynn (Ƿ), Insular G (Ᵹ), Yogh (Ȝ)

Before the letter W was invented, the rune wynn was borrowed into the Latin AngloSaxon alphabet as a way of representing the /w/ sound....

Latin 101 Course Announcement!

Words for Granted has partnered with Rebecca Deitsch (Harvard University) to offer a Latin 101 course to listeners. To learn more and RSVP, please...

Episode 93: Pasta

"Pasta" is first attested in English during the 1800's, which is later than one might expect. However, in prior centuries, a handful of closely...

Episode 92: Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

In today's episode, we look at the etymologies of our meal words––not to mention "meal" itself. (As it turns out, "meal" has a long...

Episode 89: Cheese

In the episode, we explore the etymology of "cheese," a Latin-derived word that entered the Germanic languages through trade long before the emergence of...

Episode 88: Egg

The word "egg" plays a part in one of the most famous anecdotes in the written record about the evolution of the English language....

The Proto Indo-Europeans: A conversation with Kevin Stroud of The History of English Podcast

This episode features a conversation I had with Kevin Stroud of the History of English Podcast at this year's virtual Intelligent Speech conference. We...

Episode 86: Red Herring

The idiom "red herring" is used to describe a distraction from the matter at hand. Literally, a "red herring" is a kipper––that is, a...

Episode 85: The Proof Is in the Pudding

Of all places, why do we put the "proof" in the "pudding?" Like many idioms whose origins date back several centuries, the connection between...

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