Episode 108: On the Move

In this episode, we look at the movement of people and their money in the 13th century. This was a period when international trading networks carried goods and people to the far-flung corners of the known world. This was also the era of Genghis Khan’s Mongolian conquests and Marco Polo’s travels to China. We explore those events and consider the impact of those developments on the English language.

9 thoughts on “Episode 108: On the Move

  1. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on but when I try to get this episode from the podcast app on my iPhone, it delivers episode 39 instead.
    While episode 39 was a fine episode, I was hoping for something new.
    Could you please slap Apple around to allow access to the real episode 108?

    • Well that’s weird. It seems to be an issue only with the ‘Podcasts’ app on iPhone/iPad. I have tried to update and refresh the feed to see if that works. Keep in mind that you can always listen to the episode directly through this site until Apple sorts out the glitch.

  2. Regarding the word cheap, this old word for market lives on in many European placenames, for example Köping, Sweden, Cheapside Street in the City of London, and many towns in England which start with Chipping, e.g. Chipping Sodbury; and notably Copenhagen, Denmark. The hagen part means port and is related to the English word haven. Indeed, the Danish name for this city is København.

  3. Regarding the word bargain, while this came into English via Old French, it’s now absent in modern French. Weirdly there isn’t a replacement word though, we have to say “bon marché” (good deal) for cheap, and “negocier” for the verb to bargain.

    • According to many etymologies, the Old English word “ceap” acquired its modern meaning as “cheap” via the French expression “bon marche.” Apparently, Middle English speakers would sometimes speak of a “good ceap” as a literal translation of the French expression. And over time, “good cheap” was shortened to just “cheap” with its modern meaning.

    • I actually mentioned the word “bankrupt” briefly in Episode 19 very early on. I didn’t discuss it in this episode because the word “bankrupt” isn’t attested in an English document until the 1500s. I’m sure the word will come up again in a later episode.

  4. Pingback: Grammar Logic and Rhetoric

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