The History of English in Ten Minutes: Track 1

Featuring: Video Video

Where did the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ come from? And when did scientists finally get round to naming sexual body parts? Voiced by Clive Anderson, this entertaining romp through 'The History of English' squeezes 1600 years of history into 10 one-minute bites, uncovering the sources of English words and phrases from Shakespeare and the King James Bible to America and the Internet. Bursting with fascinating facts, the series looks at how English grew from a small tongue into a major global language before reflecting on the future of English in the 21st century.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 20 mins
  • Updated Wednesday 22nd June 2011
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under English Language
Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn View article Comments
Print

Track 1: Anglo-Saxon

A look at what words the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings bought to the English language.


© The Open University 2011


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Anglo-Saxon    A look at what words the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings bought to the English language. Play now Anglo-Saxon
2 The Norman Conquest    In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded Britain and bought with him fancy French words to add to the English language. Play now The Norman Conquest
3 Shakespeare    This video tells us that Shakespeare invented over 2000 new words and phrases like eyeball, anchovy and puppy. Play now Shakespeare
4 The King James Bible    Illustrating that in 1611, the new King James Bible was created and gave us many famous phrases. Play now The King James Bible
5 The English of Science    In the 17th Century, new science words were being created like acid, ovary and tonsil. Play now The English of Science
6 English and Empire    Exploring how the British Empire spread across the world bringing back many new words and phrases. Play now English and Empire
7 The Age of the Dictionary    A look at how lexicographers started creating the Dictionary of the English Language to ensure that everyone spelt words correctly and knew their correct definition. Play now The Age of the Dictionary
8 American English    Learn about American-English and how some American words were actually English to start with. Play now American English
9 Internet English    Exploring the expansion of internet language, with abbreviations like lol and btw. Play now Internet English
10 Global English    The future of English and the many hybrids that have been created. Should we still call it English? Play now Global English

Copyright information

Tags, Ratings and Social Bookmarking

Ratings

Your rating None. Average rating 4.7 out of 5, based on 81 ratings

Share

Leave a comment
Sign in or create your OpenLearn account to join the discussion.

We invite you to discuss this subject, but remember this is a public forum.
Please be polite, and avoid your passions turning into contempt for others. We may delete posts that are rude or aggressive; or edit posts containing contact details or links to other websites.

Other content you may like

The internet and the English language Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

History & The Arts 

The internet and the English language

Mark Swinson, business leader at IBM and OU graduate suggests the internet has been the biggest influence on the English language's development 

Article

History & The Arts 

Norma Waterson: English Folk Singing

Song, in its many forms, surrounds us - and may have been a feature of life since the very beginnings of human history. It is practiced in every society in the world, its importance undiminished in modern times. The tracks on this album focus on English Folk singing, the traditions behind the songs, and the stories behind the traditions. Performances from folk singer Norma Waterson complete the fascinating journey through English folk heritage. This material is drawn from The Open University course AA317 Words and music.

Audio
45 mins

Science, Maths & Technology 

The Internet at 40

2009 is the 40th anniversary of the first computer network - the precursor of the internet - and the 20th anniversary of the brilliant idea that led to the creation of the world wide web. What exactly is the internet, and how does it differ from the world wide web? Who were its pioneers, and what technological surprises has it sprung? This album opens with a specially recorded interview with John Naughton, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at The Open University and author of 'A brief history of the future - the origins of the internet'. He explores some of the key moments in the short but spectacular history of an extraordinary phenomenon, the people who made them happen, and some of the problems that have emerged. The album also features archive interviews with Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Donald Davies and other pioneers of the internet age, recorded in the late 1990s. The album is completed by a newly recorded interview with Rodney Harrison, lecturer in Heritage Studies at The Open University, in which he talks about his research into Second Life: Cyber-Archaeologies, Heritage and Virtual Communities. The interviews are presented by radio journalist Penny Boreham.

Audio
1 hr 30 mins
video icon

Languages 

Introducing language and creativity

Our short video gives a brief introduction to creativity - and explores its links with language.

Video
5 mins
The evolution of English: From the 17th century to the present day Creative commons image Icon Steve Johnson under CC BY 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license activity icon

Languages 

The evolution of English: From the 17th century to the present day

Part two: The history of colonialism was a major factor in the development of English. Follow the global spread of English from the 17th century to the present day.

Activity
The evolution of English: From Romans to Shakespeare Creative commons image Icon Steve Johnson under CC BY 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license activity icon

Languages 

The evolution of English: From Romans to Shakespeare

Part one: The history of colonialism was a major factor in the development of English. Follow the global spread of English starting with the Roman invasion.

Activity
Language in the real world Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Courtesy © Neil Mitchell free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Language in the real world

This free course, Language in the real world, explains and illustrates why a knowledge about how language works (i.e. ‘linguistics’) is helpful – some might say essential – for different aspects of our everyday lives. It provides an introduction to ideas around what language is and to the field of Applied Linguistics, which is dedicated to exploring and addressing situations where language plays a crucial role.

Free course
6 hrs

Languages 

Charles Dickens: Celebrity Author

Charles Dickens was not only the most famous writer of his day, but, during the second half of his career, also a prominent public figure known through his readings and speeches. He cultivated, and relished, a close relationship with the vast audiences who came to hear him, in towns and cities throughout Britain, and in the USA. His readings appealed to his own deep instinct in support of the development of the imagination of the people, and also acknowledged the common Victorian pastime of domestic literary recitation. As an actor he took on the visage and gestures as well as the voice of his characters; audiences were spellbound.

Audio
1 hr 15 mins
Summarising text Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Summarising text

In this free course, Summarising text, you will learn how to summarise. Summarising is useful both when completing assignments and while studying.

Free course
1 hr