Episode 86: Family of Rebels

The final years of Henry II’s reign were consumed with putting down rebellions. Those rebels included Henry’s sons and wife. ┬áIn this episode, we explore Henry’s family of rebels. We also examine the book of homilies known as the Ormulum. This early Middle English text appeared near the end of Henry’s reign, and it contained the first known usage of many Modern English words.


6 thoughts on “Episode 86: Family of Rebels

  1. Another excellent episode from Kevin. Whilst listening to the explanation of the origin of seem meaning appearing to be part of another, or joined, it crossed my mind that seam also fits in there but I have found no etymological links in dictionaries. Any thoughts

    • I actually had the same thought when preparing this episode. But alas, “seam” appears to come from an unrelated root. Interestingly, the PIE root of “seam” also produced the word “sew.”

    • Similarly, I actually thought Kevin was describing the origins of “seam” and “sum”, rather than “seem” and “some” right up until he described the modern usage. Cursed homophones!

  2. Next time you’re in IKEA, think about this podcast. IKEA has a series of handy transparent storage boxes called SAMLA. This relates to Kevin’s discussions of the word “same”. In Swedish samla means something like collection. (A great name for small storage boxes!) In German sammeln means gather up, and zusammen means together. Samme means same in Scandinavian dialects.

  3. Tangent: Google’a new Neural net translator has developed its own intermediary language of some kind. So it can be thought how to translate English to Japanese, and English to Korean, the it can figure out how to translate from Korean to Japanese without using English. Pretty wild! What are the chances that studying this intermediate data could give us insights into previously undiscovered links between various languages, splits that must have occurred in the past…? Could the intermediate language be close to something like Proto-Indo-European?


    • Thanks for the link! I have no idea if this particular program would be helpful to historical linguists, but I suspect that there are scholars working with similar programs as we speak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.