Words for Granted
About This Show
Words for Granted is a podcast that looks at how words change over time. Host Ray Belli uses language--more specifically, individual words--as a way of understanding history, culture, religion, and society.
Most Recent Episode
Episode 10: Handicap
The etymology of "handicap" is the source of a myth that dates back to sixteenth century England. The myth claims that "handicap" is a mutated contraction of the expression "cap in hand," an old euphemism for begging. However, "handicap" is in fact a contraction of "hand in cap," a popular Medieval bartering game. Over the course of today's episode, we'll see how the word came to mean "a physical or mental disability" and why it's considered to be a politically incorrect term. Today's show is brought to you by Audible. Click here to sign up with a free 30-day trial!