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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 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...

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...

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