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This is a special podictionary episode in which I interview Philip Durkin, the Principal Etymologist for The Oxford English Dictionary.
I contacted Dr. Durkin because his book The Oxford Guide to Etymology was recently released in North America and he was kind enough to spend a comfortable 20 minutes talking with me.
Podictionary often concentrates on the changes in meaning that a word goes through over time so when we talked we discussed the other side of etymology—changes in word form.
Dr. Durkin explained some of the tools of etymology as well as talked specifically about the etymologies of the words friar and penguin.
At the moment there is no transcript available of this interview but I encourage you to listen either by clicking the “download” link above or via the website audio player.
Five days a week Charles Hodgson produces Podictionary – the podcast for word lovers, Thursday episodes here at OUPblog. He’s also the author of several books including his latest History of Wine Words – An Intoxicating Dictionary of Etymology from the Vineyard, Glass, and Bottle.