The history of the English language, 1066 – today

1066 CE: Anglo-Norman In 1066 the Normans (what is now Northern France) invaded England and took over, they brought their language with them and created a language called ‘Anglo-Norman’ which was a sort of mix of Old English and Old French, but they had trouble making it stick, it was mostly spoken by the ruling…

The history of the English language, 400 – 600 CE

400 CE: Latin The Roman empire grew and spread from Italy between 100 and 400 CE taking Latin with it, the Romans took an interesting approach to culture – everyone should be Roman, so Latin was really pressed upon the British people during the Roman occupation. Again religion played a part, this time it was…

The history of the English language, 4500 – 1700 BCE

Our story starts with Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language, proto meaning ‘original’ – as in prototype; as the name suggests, it was the common tongue from which all modern Indian and European languages came. It was spoken in around 4500 BCE. The language was a lot more basic than what we have now and there were far…

Machine – That which gives power

Machine – An apparatus using mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task. The word ‘machine’ dates back to the 1540s, it came across from French, where the word meant the same as it does today. ‘Machine’ is derived from the Latin word ‘machina’ meaning ‘machine’…

Mace – Mallet

Mace – A heavy club with a spiked metal head. The word ‘mace’ comes from Old French and is originally derived from the Latin word ‘mateola’ which meant ‘Mallet’.

Macabre – Jewish rebels

Macabre – Disturbing because concerned with or causing a fear of death. Macabre is derived from the Latin word ‘Maccabees’ – who were the leaders of a Jewish rebel army that took control of Judea in around 164 BCE (Maccabee was a family name). The Greeks thought they were pretty horrid and used the phrase…