Why do we say “merry Christmas”? Why not “happy Christmas”? And why don’t we use the word “merry” for anything else nowadays (except for the occasional merry-go-round)? “Merry Christmas” is so ingrained in our language, and feels so natural to say, that you probably never stopped to wonder why. Well, I did, and with the help of linguist Arika Okrent, we’ll get to the bottom of it.
Thanks to Charlyn Lewis in Pennsylvania for sharing a Christmas memory in this episode. If you’d like to be on the show, record a voice memo into your phone and send it to christmaspastpodcast at gmail dot com or leave a voice mail on my Google Voice line at 650-394-7162.
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- Original Mental Floss article by Arika Okrent
- Arika Okrent’s Web site
- The Christmas Podcast Network
- Tis The Podcast
Music from this episode
- “Gaena” — Blue Dot Sessions, via Free Music Archive
- “March” — Kai Engel, via Free Music Archive
- “Delicant” — Podington Bear, via Free Music Archive
- “Suppose it Is” — Podington Bear, via Free Music Archive
- “Wish Background” — Kevin MacLeod, via Incompetech