English and Empire – The History of English (6/10)

The History of English in ten minutes. Chapter
Six: English and Empire, or the sun never sets on the English language. With English
making its name as the language of science, the Bible and Shakespeare, Britain decided
to take it on tour, asking only for land, wealth, natural resources, total obedience
to the crown and a few local words in return. They went to the Caribbean looking for gold
and a chance to really unwind, discovering the barbecue, the canoe and a pretty good
recipe for rum punch. They also brought back the word cannibal, to make their trip sound
more exciting. In India there was something for everyone. Yoga to help you stay in shape,
while pretending to be spiritual. If that didn’t work there was the cummerbund to hide
the paunch, and if you couldn’t even make it up the stairs without turning crimson,
they had the bungalow. Meanwhile in Africa they picked up words like voodoo and zombie,
kicking off the teen horror film. From Australia, English took the words nugget, boomerang
and walkabout, and in fact the whole concept of chain pubs. All in all, between toppling
Napoleon and the First World War, the British Empire gobbled up around 10 million square
miles, 400 million people and nearly a hundred thousand gin and tonics, leaving new varieties
of English to develop all over the globe.

Comments 28

  • The word "Cannibal" actually came from the pacific islands; not the carribean, on Captain`s Cooks Travels. But an entertaining video none the less.

  • @P2J3M4 > The word "Cannibal" actually came from the pacific islands… <

    Oh no it didn't!

    Cannibal: 1550s, from Sp. canibal "a savage, cannibal," from Caniba, Christopher Columbus' rendition of the Caribs' name for themselves (see Caribbean). [Onine Etymology Dictionary]

  • @Ynysmydwr – Thanks for replying. But sorry for deceiving you, this was a test for a communications class, where we were testing if people take comments seriously and if they corrected people or not. But regardless it's good to know that there are smart and intelligent people commenting out there.

  • I love the historical ditties & especially Britain as the Pac-man gobbling up property propagating the Empire. Wonder if the Crown still respects Crown Patents it so freely gave out to my ancestor Hon. William McGillivray in Canada, they do for Hudson Bay Company? hmm…can anybody address her Majesty?

  • tumblr sent me here lol

  • Why isn't America eaten? … or at least the east coast of America…

  • @beany900 I'm guessing you meant China. Japan was never colonized by any nation. They have been occupied but that isn't the same thing as colonization.

    The map at the end was also missing India but whatever it's free learning and you get what you pay for. Still this was an entertaining series of videos.

  • What the hell? By splitting it up into 10 videos, you make people load 10 pages instead of one, sit through 10 intros instead of one. All in all, watching this takes 5 minutes on moderate internet connections because you thought a few more video views are more important than actually informing people.

  • @Millhouse013 Get less shitty Internet.

  • @nicolebmoviesFTW2 What kind of an answer is that? Even with 100Mbit per second, splitting a 10 minute video up into 10 parts if a stupid thing to do. Nobody would only watch parts 5-10 of 7-10, so splitting it up serves no other purpose than to give the youtube account more video views.

    You weren't responding to my issue with this at all.

  • @Millhouse013 I agree that it'd be better in just one, big part, but I doubt it takes five whole minutes more unless you have VERY shitty Internet, and people with very shitty Internet, I don't feel sorry for.

  • Then we agree. Whether you feel sorry for people who have a bad connection or not is besides the point. Uploading this as one big video lasting 10 minutes would have been a better decision, and that's that.

  • @Millhouse013 AWWW! You're so CUTE! ^_^

  • @Millhouse013 Perhaps they didn't make the videos all at the same time, so they were uploading them as they were finishing them. I'm not sure if that's the case, I haven't checked the dates the videos were uploaded

  • I can't watch those videos! They're so funny, I only pay attention to the cartoon, and not to the narration… lol

  • @deathbysvent High in fat.

  • The last one still has me laughing.

  • Doesn't the word zombie come from some Hatian Creole.

  • @steevmac


  • Excellent creative work! Worth a few laughs too.

  • @deathbysvent It should also have eaten Egypt, but yeh.

  • @AMockTurtle Oh, I thought that Egypt primarily spoke Arabic. I wonder what other countries this video conveniently forgot. (raises eyebrow) =P

  • That "Game Over" looked like SEGA's logo 😛

  • @deathbysvent
    Cause we rebelled before 1914…. I guess….

  • Asimov reference!

  • They would have to depict the England pac-man thing getting sick and puking it back up.

  • While we Americans are no longer part of the Empire, a lot of words were picked up here like squash, pumpkin, chili, chocolate, lariat, maize, chipmunk, and Toboggan for example.

  • Do you have a source for the claim that 'nugget' originates from an Australian language? All the information I can find suggests the origin is unknown, but probably comes from 'nug', meaning 'small piece' or 'lump'.

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