Lexicon Valley

Parting Company

How did a word meaning with bread come to sprout its corporate connotation?

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Episode Notes

What can the single word company tell us about the haphazard way that language often changes? For starters, we might not have that word in English at all if it weren’t for a single ancient text containing the Late Latin “companio”—modeled after a Germanic word meaning “with bread” and used to denote a dining companion. Follow the fascinating twists and turns all the way to Sondheim!

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo.

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About the Show

If you’ve ever had curious thoughts and questions about the ways we speak, read, and write, Lexicon Valley is the show for you. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

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