Animalogy Podcast
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Animals in the Alphabet


Animalogy is all about the animal-related words and phrases in the English language, but did you know there are animals in the very letters that make up our words? If I haven’t blown your mind yet, check out this episode to learn more about this fascinating history.

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In This Episode

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau discusses the fascinating history of the English (Roman) alphabet and the animals in its origins.

*Providing a brief overview of the history of the alphabet from Egyptian hieroglyphs and Phoenician syllabaries to Greek, Etruscan, and Roman alphabets
*Depicting the animals in 7 out of the 26 letters that make up our alphabet
*Uncovering the animals in the Anglo Saxon futhorc alphabet
*Sharing the story that the first recorded sentence in English includes an animal

The Letter A (aleph: ox)

The Letters C and G (gimel: camel)

The Letter L (lamedh: cattle prod)

The Letters N and M (nahesh / nun and mem: snake / fish and water)

The Letter Q (qoph: monkey)

The Letter T (tau: animal brand)

Animals in FUTHORC Alphabet

The Undley Bracteate

A 5th-century medallion found in Undley Common in Suffolk, England. It bears the earliest known inscription that is believe to be the 1st sentence in English.

The inscription reads “this she-wolf is a reward to a kinsman” and includes an image of a wolf.

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