Episode 74: Head Cities and Home Towns

The population of England grew significantly in the centuries following the Norman Conquest of England. That development led to the growth of villages, towns and cities. During that period, London also emerged as the capital of England. In this episode, we examine these developments and explore the etymology of words associated with Medieval English settlements.

5 thoughts on “Episode 74: Head Cities and Home Towns

  1. Champagne is of interest to me. In the land down under it is no longer expensive but it is no longer available in most bottle shops. The use of the name is restricted. But when we want to celebrate, we drink “bubbly” because our wineries are no longer permitted to market their wonderful product as Champagne. I have a brother-in-law who is a retired wine maker. At one time he was making champagne at a major winery. It is fermented in a bottle, but seldom in the bottle in which it is sold. After fermentation it is decanted, refined, and rebottled

    • Hi Laura,

      I have listed most of my major sources on the “Resources” page of the website. I don’t include specific sources for each episode. Most of my research is based on a few hundred books I have read and reduced to notes over the years. I have never considered the podcast to be a proper academic treatment of the subject matter, so I don’t keep diligent notes on individual sources. I may prepare a written version of the material at some point, and in that case, I would likely include footnoted sources in that publication.

  2. I find it interesting that speech in the East Midlands and East Anglia formed the basis of standard English. Many East Anglians also settled New England, and I’ll bet their way of speaking led to the New England dialect and, by extension, northern interior American speech—often considered the standard American dialect.

    • Yes, it is definitely true that regional British accents were imported to North America, and specific settlement patterns contributed to American regional accents. The lack of ‘r’ in New England accents is directly attributed to early settlement from eastern and southeastern England which also had ‘r’-less accents. (That feature was much more limited in the British English of the 1600s than it is today.) You might want to check out the episode I did for the “10 American Presidents Podcast” about Presidential speech which touches on this issue.

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