etymology podcasts

#120 Go Me!

The Latin root word ego means “I.” This Latin root is the word origin of a fair number of English...

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#119 The "Ge" Hypothesis

The Greek root word ge, commonly used in the English prefix geo-, means “earth.” This Greek root is the...

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#118 Terrific Terra

The Latin root word terr means “earth, land.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of...

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#116 plexweaveplexweaveplexweaveplexweaveplex

The Latin root word plex means “weave.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English...

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#115 Spectacles Make the World Conspicuous!

The Latin root word spect and its variant spic both mean “see.” These roots are the word origin of a...

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#114 Give Yourself Credit

The Latin root word cred means “believe.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English...

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Lexicon: Sleeping Hobos in a Tent, Rush 'Em!

Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss the early 20th-century origins of a bizarre food-industry code with lexicographer...

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#121 Thoroughly Perfect "Per-!"

The prefix per-, besides meaning “through,” can also act as an intensive prefix, adding emphasis to a...

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Lexicon: The Curious Case of a Conspiratorial Coinage

Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo talk about a mystery word or phrase with lexicographer Ben Zimmer. Lexicon Valley is...

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Lexicon: They Had a Good Year

A pronoun that English borrowed from its Scandinavian neighbors gets new life as a gender neutral alternative to he...

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#123 No Fiddling Around with Fid!

The Latin root word fid means “trust.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English...

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Lexicon: A British Insult Fit for Trump

A peculiar insult from the north of England has the Oxford English Dictionary stumped. Lexicon Valley is brought to...

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Fascinating Facets of History

Spend 30 engrossing minutes exploring two areas of history that provide some enthralling context for the events and...

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#124 All Words Created with "Equ"

The Latin root word equ means “equal.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English...

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Lexicon: The Full, Firm, Valiant, and Heavy-Hearted Trump

Donald Trump calls people (and publications) he doesn’t like “sad.” When did that word become an insult? Lexicon...

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#125 Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix extra-, which means...

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Lexicon: Take This Episode with a Grain of Salt

A salty phrase with roots in Ancient Rome has confounded English speakers for centuries. Join Slate Plus! Members get...

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#127 Invoke Vocabulary

The Latin root word voc and its variant vok both mean “call.” These roots are the word origins of a fair...

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#128 "Posit" Positively Positioned!

The Latin root word posit means “placed.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English...

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#129 On a Roll with "Volv"

The Latin root word volv and its variants volut and volt mean “roll” or “turn round.” These...

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