The History of English Podcast

The History of English Podcast

Episode 145: A Sea Change for Europe

The period of European exploration and discovery began in the 1400s as part of an effort to find new trading routes...

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Episode 144: A Murder of Crows and Princes

In the second half of the 1400s, there is written evidence of word play and new word formations within English. These...

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Bonus Episode: Chaucer’s Purse and the Great Vowel Shift

In this bonus episode of the regular podcast, we explore the effects of the Great Vowel Shift on the pronunciation of...

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Episode 143: The Great Vowel Shift (Part 3)

In this final episode about the sound changes associated with the Great Vowel Shift, we explore the vowel shifts that...

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Episode 142: The Great Vowel Shift (Part 2)

In this second part of our look at the Great Vowel Shift, we explore the movement of the vowel sounds located in the...

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Episode 141: The Great Vowel Shift (Part 1)

The term ‘Great Vowel Shift’ was coined in the early 1900s by the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen to...

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Episode 140: You Say ‘To-may-to’

Vowel sounds are a key feature of every language, but the actual vowel sounds vary from one language to another. The...

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Episode 139: The Business of Printing

William Caxton introduced the mass production of books to England in the 1470s. He was also the first person to print...

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Episode 138: Family Matters

In the 1400s, rising literacy rates and access to cheap paper combined to produce the first collections of personal...

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Episode 137: A Rose By Any Other Name

The rose is one of the most beloved flowers in Western Europe, and it has a long association with English royalty....

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Episode 136: The Real Robin Hood

The legend of Robin Hood has its origins in the murky history of England after the Norman Conquest, but the first...

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Bonus Episode: Stay at Home Edition

In this bonus episode, we explore several words and phrases that appeared for the first time in the first half of the...

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Episode 135: A House of Cards

In the early 1400s, playing cards made their first appearance in England. Those cards provide evidence of an early...

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Episode 134: A Lancastrian Standard

In the early 1400s, England welcomed a new king, a new ruling family, and a new role for the English language in the...

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Episode 134: A Lancastrian Standard

In the early 1400s, England welcomed a new king, a new ruling family, and a new role for the English language in the...

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Episode 133: Breaking Bread With Companions

In this episode, we explore words associated with mealtime in the Middle Ages. We also examine the important role of...

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Episode 132: Food for Thought

In the midst of the English literary revival of the late 1300s, the household chefs of Richard II compiled the first...

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Episode 131: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the most popular English poems of the Middle Ages. In this episode, we...

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Episode 130: Dialect Dialogues

Geoffrey Chaucer was one of the first English writers to compose dialogue in regional dialects to reflect the way...

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Episode 129: Chaucer’s Vulgar Tongue [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

Geoffrey Chaucer was one of the few poets of the Middle Ages to explore the vulgar side of English and the connection...

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