Leon Bailey Green public
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Etymoleon, a weekly 15 minute etymology podcast, gets into the world of word history and origins. Join Leon as he researches and explores the historical and linguistic roots of words, names and phrases tied to diverse topics. Without expertise in linguistics or history, Leon assumes the role of an avid researcher, presenting analyses of how words have evolved over time. Each episode unveils the journey of words, dissecting their transformations and connections to various languages such as Ol ...
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This episode explores the origins and meanings of names popular with royalty. Discover why the nickname of a 10th century Nordic king lives on in the 20th century technology term Bluetooth. Learn how the name Harry, a pet form of Henry, traces back to the French pronunciation during the Middle English period. We also look into the ancient Greek roo…
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This episode gets into the origins of sleep-related terminology. Starting with how synonyms for sleep such as rest, nap, slumber and ZZZs entered the English language, we explain a theory as to why it's "forty winks" instead of twenty, thirty or fifty. Learn why the Old English word for snore is connected to rooting for someone to win, and why Aust…
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In this episode, we explore the stories behind the names of some of the world's most iconic landmarks and the etymology of the words used. We examine Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Gherkin, Burj Khalifa and more. Also uncovered are the origins and meanings of the names of architects associated with …
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This time we're looking into the origins of global corporations, exploring the etymology of their brand names and uncovering snippets of their histories. Some corporate names are derived from everyday words (Microsoft, Apple, Shell) and others from their founders' names (Audi, JP Morgan, Toyota). Learn why a payment provider's name also means trave…
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In this episode we're taking a look at hair terminology, including the etymology behind diverse synonyms for hair, including dreads, mane and tresses. Learn about intriguing connections such as the association between the term "alopecia" and foxes, and the link between pomades and apples. Ever wondered about the origins of the word "shampoo" or the…
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This episode uncovers various theories behind why and how we use certain non-verbal gestures to communicate, along with the origins of the terms that describe them. Discover the surprising history behind gestures like the high-five, said to be popularised by American baseball, and elbow touching, first suggested by the World Health Organization in …
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This time we're looking into furniture terminology, from the interchangeably used couch, sofa and settee to futon and hammock, which derive from the languages of their origin. Learn why the history of the dining room sideboard, known as the credenza, is rooted in the fear of food poisoning, and trace the origins of the word chair back to its Ancien…
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This episode explores the origins and meanings of names beginning with the letter C. Discover surprising connections between the name Charles and the term churlish, both rooted in a Germanic language word. Uncover how a Latin word meaning "hairless" influenced terms like Calvinism and chauvinist, named after historical figures. Explore the origin o…
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In this episode, we get into the history of the Full English Breakfast, a dish that took shape around the 18th century. Explore the etymological origins of its essential components such as sausages, eggs, bacon, black pudding and baked beans. Uncover the intriguing story of why tomatoes were once known as 'love apples'. Additionally, discover the c…
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In this episode, we delve into the world of phobias, uncovering the etymological origins behind words associated with deep-seated fears. Explore the roots of well-known phobias like arachnophobia, acrophobia and claustrophobia, as well as the lesser-known oenophobia, the fear of wine. Additionally, we explore the linguistic origins of glossophobia,…
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In this episode, we explore the evolution of family member terminology, unravelling the origins of words such as mother, brother, nephew and cousin in English. Many of these familial designations have undergone significant changes over time; for instance, the term "niece" once referred to a granddaughter. Discover when terms like "co-parent", "glam…
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This time, we're delving into the origins of famous cocktail drinks and uncovering the intriguing stories behind their names. The Bloody Mary, for instance, is rumoured to be named after a theatre production, while the name Mai Tai is thought to translate to 'good' or 'best'. The term "cocktail" itself has a mysterious origin, with some speculating…
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This episode looks at words of the spring season. The month of March is named after the Roman god of war Mars, and the month of May was once known as 'the month of three milks'. As for the term 'spring clean', various theories exist to explain why this season is so connected to tidying. Delve into the etymological roots of springtime British vegeta…
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This episode uncovers the linguistic roots behind words associated with pregnancy and childbirth. For some generations the word pregnant is considered taboo which is why phrases like 'with child' and 'in the family way' emerged. Discover how the placenta's name harks back to an ancient cake, and how the umbilical cord derives its name from the Lati…
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In this episode, we delve into the meanings and etymology of names commencing with the letter 'B'. Unravel the intriguing connections as Barbara's roots intertwine with the word 'barbarian', and find out why Bridget is responsible for the term 'old biddy'. Despite their similar sound, Brendan and Brenda boast distinct etymological origins. Addition…
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This episode delves into the origins of sports names, embarking on a journey that begins with the intertwined history of Football, Rugby and Soccer. Explore the linguistic roots behind the names of sports like Pickleball, Tennis and Golf. The equestrian sport of Polo, brought to England by tea planters returning from India, finds its origins in Per…
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This episode delves into the intricate world of stereotypes, uncovering the historical evolution of names such as Karen, Keisha and Chad. Gain an understanding of the stereotypes associated with these names and explore their origins. Trace the linguistic journeys that introduced terms like prejudice, bias and stereotype into the English language. A…
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This time we're exploring the language of fine dining. Unravel the linguistic origins behind terms such as "foie gras", where "gras" means fat and traces back to a Latin word which is also the root of the word "grease". Discover the etymology of words like "restaurant", "a la carte", "flambé", and "sous vide", and delve into the link between Michel…
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This episode investigates the history of words associated with love and romance. Delve into the theory surrounding the inception of Valentine's Day and uncover the connection between the term 'darling' and the concept of being expensive. Explore the reason why red roses are linked to love, and unravel theories behind the term 'French kiss' for an i…
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In this episode, we explore the intriguing correlation between people's names and their professions. Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter renowned for his speed, aptly carries the surname "Bolt". Weather presenters Amy Freeze and Sara Blizzard have last names that embody the essence of their forecasts, while the founder of a major financial company ap…
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This time we're looking at the etymological origins of business terms, from the Ancient Greek origins of the words monopoly and duopoly, to the words describing the leader of a business such as 'entrepreneur', 'founder', 'director' and 'boss'. This episode also strips back the word 'company' to the root Latin word for bread and explores the name an…
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This time, indulge in a delectable episode tracing the name roots of chocolate bars beloved in Britain and America. Discover the fascinating history behind these confectionery delights, learning when they first graced shelves. The Snickers is named after a Mars family horse and its former UK name has ties to a vegetable. This episode also delves in…
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This episode peels back the layers of criminal language, exposing the etymology behind words linked to true crime. Journey through the linguistic roots of terms like detective, suspect, forensic and motive. The word landscape of taking without permission is explored with words like loot, shoplifting, theft and burglary, as are words of mortality li…
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This episode unwraps the enchanting origins and meanings of Christmassy names. Discover the history behind names like Holly, Noel, Carol and even Jesus. Rudolph may be a famous deer but his name translates to 'famous wolf'. Explore the connection between Nicholas and Santa Claus, and delve into the festive names of Ivy, Joseph, Gabriel and Mary, wh…
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This episode ventures into the wintry realm, unravelling the origins of words that paint the chilly landscape of December, January and February, from the linguistic evolution of winter clothing like jumpers, or sweaters as they're better known in America, to the history of the beloved warming 'hot chocolate' and 'mulled wine' beverages. Also explor…
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This episode takes a look at street names, starting with suffixes we use for streets such as road, avenue, crescent and the ubiquitous street itself. Interesting history is uncovered by exploring the name origins of famous London streets Downing Street, Oxford Street and Abbey Road, as well as Birmingham's Broad Street. Also explored are the etymol…
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This episode exposes theories behind the origins of what we call pets. While 'cat' has its roots in the Old English 'catte' and 'dog' in 'docga,' the origins of 'guinea pig' and 'budgerigar' remain shrouded in mystery. Also explored are the meanings of the UK's favourite pet names including Luna, Milo, Lola, Bella and Simba, and a theory behind the…
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This episode delves into the origins of words intertwined with cancer, from oncology to chemotherapy, tumour and remission. Also explored are the name meanings and legacies of individuals who have made significant contributions to cancer research, such as Jane C. Wright, Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill.…
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This episode reveals the name meanings and origins of given names beginning with A including Amy, Angela, Archibald and Adam. We delve into the Ancient Greek anēr which means man, and can be found in the name Andrew, and in the 'ander' of Alexander, and Achilles, Athena and Aphrodite, three iconic figures from Greek mythology that have left their m…
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This episode takes a look at the etymologies of dating lingo. From modern terms such as ghosting, orbiting and catfishing, to the rather old-fashion synonym for dating 'courting'. Find out the name meanings behind dating app names Tinder and Grindr, and when the word 'date' first picked up its meaning in relation to two people seeing each other rom…
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This episode delves into the history of words related to cosmetic surgery and procedures. Botox can be traced back to poisonous sausages, collagen goes back to an ancient word meaning glue and veneer comes from the same root as the word furniture. Also unearthed in this episode are the etymologies of the words aesthetic, liposuction and rhinoplasty…
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This episode delves into words with double meanings. From words with contradictory meanings, to those that have had their meanings change over decades and centuries. To 'dust' can mean to wipe fine particles away, or to sprinkle them, and 'sanction' can mean to allow or to restrict. Just like the word 'sick', the word 'bad' can, in some contexts, m…
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This episode takes a look at the origins of words, terms and phrases related to the state of inebriation. From bladdered, legless and steaming to 'three sheets to the wind' and 'Dutch courage', this episode explores where the underlying words originate and how the terms may have come about. If you want to know what dog hair has to do with a hangove…
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This episode explores the etymology of words associated with house buying. From the origins of 'realtor', the US term for an estate agent, to the connection between conveyancing and a group of ships, this episode takes a look at the roots of the words related to buying a home. The words mortgage, deed, deposit and leasehold all feature.…
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This episode explores the etymology behind the titles, styles and royal abodes associated with the late Queen Elizabeth II. The name Elizabeth, which means 'God is my oath', is a fascinating one with many variants and diminutives. Listen for the origins of Buckingham, Windsor and Balmoral, names of royal residences, as well as the meanings behind t…
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This episodes explores the etymology behind words of matrimony. The hus in husband comes from the Old English word for a house, which was hūs, and wife comes from a word which simply meant woman, which explains why midwives are called midwives. This episode looks at the origins of the words wedding, nuptials and civil partnership, as well as theori…
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This episode explores the etymology behind royal titles and ranks of nobility. The titles of Lord and Lady have an interesting history connected to bread, both originating from the Old English word for bread which was hlaf - the root of the word loaf. This episode uncovers what is known about the origins of the words King, Queen, Duke/Duchess, Prin…
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This episode explores the etymologies and meanings behind the names of British dishes and chefs. Did you know the cookery author who gave the Yorkshire pudding its name (it used to be called the dripping pudding) had no connection to Yorkshire? Why is a cottage pie called a cottage pie? Learn more in this episode which also features the etymologies…
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This episode explores the etymology of retailer names. Find out what Gymshark, rather ironically, has to do with being unclothed, and how the surname of Sainsbury formed from the name Saewine. Argos is named after the Greek city but is the city so named because of a mythological character or an abundance of silver? This episode also looks at the et…
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This episode explores the etymology behind words associated with retail. The word retail comes from an Old French word retaillier, but what does the Latin tāliāre, which means cut, have to do with selling goods? Shopping centres are referred to as malls in the US, and that comes from the Latin malleus, the word for a hammer - what's the connection …
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