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The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

Hear the story behind the everyday words in our lexicon, and follow an award-winning professor as she demonstrates how much the evolution of our language can teach us about ourselves.

Watch First Lecture

36 Lectures

1
Image of Winning Words, Banished Words
Winning Words, Banished Words
0 of 31 min
2
Image of The Life of a Word, from Birth to Death
The Life of a Word, from Birth to Death
0 of 30 min
3
Image of The Human Hands behind Dictionaries
The Human Hands behind Dictionaries
0 of 30 min
4
Image of Treasure Houses, Theft, and Traps
Treasure Houses, Theft, and Traps
0 of 30 min
5
Image of Yarn and Clues—New Word Meanings
Yarn and Clues—New Word Meanings
0 of 30 min
6
Image of Smog, Mob, Bling—New Words
Smog, Mob, Bling—New Words
0 of 30 min
7
Image of “Often” versus “Offen”—Pronunciation
“Often” versus “Offen”—Pronunciation
0 of 29 min
8
Image of Fighting over Zippers
Fighting over Zippers
0 of 30 min
9
Image of Opening the Early English Word-Hoard
Opening the Early English Word-Hoard
0 of 30 min
10
Image of Safe and Sound—The French Invasion
Safe and Sound—The French Invasion
0 of 29 min
11
Image of Magnifical Dexterity—Latin and Learning
Magnifical Dexterity—Latin and Learning
0 of 28 min
12
Image of Chutzpah to Pajamas—World Borrowings
Chutzpah to Pajamas—World Borrowings
0 of 30 min
13
Image of The Pop/Soda/Coke Divide
The Pop/Soda/Coke Divide
0 of 30 min
14
Image of Maths, Wombats, and Les Bluejeans
Maths, Wombats, and Les Bluejeans
0 of 32 min
15
Image of Foot and Pedestrian—Word Cousins
Foot and Pedestrian—Word Cousins
0 of 29 min
16
Image of Desultory Somersaults—Latin Roots
Desultory Somersaults—Latin Roots
0 of 30 min
17
Image of Analogous Prologues—Greek Roots
Analogous Prologues—Greek Roots
0 of 31 min
18
Image of The Tough Stuff of English Spelling
The Tough Stuff of English Spelling
0 of 30 min
19
Image of The b in Debt—Meddling in Spelling
The b in Debt—Meddling in Spelling
0 of 31 min
20
Image of Of Mice, Men, and Y’All
Of Mice, Men, and Y’All
0 of 30 min
21
Image of I’m Good … Or Am I Well?
I’m Good … Or Am I Well?
0 of 28 min
22
Image of How Snuck Sneaked In
How Snuck Sneaked In
0 of 29 min
23
Image of Um, Well, Like, You Know
Um, Well, Like, You Know
0 of 32 min
24
Image of Wicked Cool—The Irreverence of Slang
Wicked Cool—The Irreverence of Slang
0 of 29 min
25
Image of Boy Toys and Bad Eggs—Slangy Wordplay
Boy Toys and Bad Eggs—Slangy Wordplay
0 of 32 min
26
Image of Spinster, Bachelor, Guy, Dude
Spinster, Bachelor, Guy, Dude
0 of 30 min
27
Image of Firefighters and Freshpersons
Firefighters and Freshpersons
0 of 29 min
28
Image of A Slam Dunk—The Language of Sports
A Slam Dunk—The Language of Sports
0 of 30 min
29
Image of Fooling Around—The Language of Love
Fooling Around—The Language of Love
0 of 30 min
30
Image of Gung Ho—The Language of War
Gung Ho—The Language of War
0 of 30 min
31
Image of Filibustering—The Language of Politics
Filibustering—The Language of Politics
0 of 29 min
32
Image of LOL—The Language of the Internet
LOL—The Language of the Internet
0 of 31 min
33
Image of #$@%!—Forbidden Words
#$@%!—Forbidden Words
0 of 30 min
34
Image of Couldn’t (or Could) Care Less
Couldn’t (or Could) Care Less
0 of 30 min
35
Image of Musquirt and Other Lexical Gaps
Musquirt and Other Lexical Gaps
0 of 31 min
36
Image of Playing Fast and Loose with Words
Playing Fast and Loose with Words
0 of 34 min

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August 23, 2018

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June 15, 2018

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