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People are just realizing the origin of the word 'podcast' and it's blowing their minds

People are just realizing the origin of the word 'podcast' and it's blowing their minds

“The amount of sayings and words related to farming and sailing is crazy.”

The origins of words that we use all the time is something that doesn’t often cross our minds, but there are some relatively new terms in our daily vocabulary that have an interesting backstory.

The origins of the word ‘podcast’ is one example and, after a TikToker unveiled just how the word came to be, it’s blowing people’s minds.


Adam Aleksic uploaded a video on his TikTok page, @etymologynerd, dissecting the term, saying to the camera: “I can't be the only person who thinks it's insane that we're already collectively forgetting where the word ‘podcast’ comes from.”

Shockingly, he reveals that the word is actually a combination of two words, with the later half ‘cast’ originally meaning ‘broadcast’.

Aleksic goes on to explain that: “The even crazier thing about ‘podcast’ outliving its conceptual origins is that the exact same thing already happened with the word ‘broadcast’, which used to refer to an agricultural technique of widely dispersing seeds on the ground.

“Then that got abstracted as a metaphor for widely dispersing information to the public."

The TikToker explained the origin of the word 'podcast' (TikTok/@etymologynerd)
The TikToker explained the origin of the word 'podcast' (TikTok/@etymologynerd)

The first half of the word, ‘pod’, is even more bizarre as Aleksic shares that it actually comes from the word iPod.

Since the Apple music player is now obsolete, there’s no reason for anyone to piece together that the discontinued device would be the inspiration behind the name but that’s how ‘podcast’ came to be.

Ben Hammersley is a British consultant and broadcaster who is known for coining the term, before then it was referred to as audio blogging.

And it gets even crazier because, according to Aleksic, the iPod name was a reference to a particular scene in the movie 2001: Space Odyssey, where the main character says the line: “Open the pod bay doors, Hal”.

The term 'podcast' is a combination of two words (demaerre/Getty)
The term 'podcast' is a combination of two words (demaerre/Getty)

He continues: “And we've completely forgotten about all of that, just like we're already forgetting what ‘podcast’ means on the surface level.”

Sharing their reactions in the TikTok comment section, many users were shocked by the revelation, with one person saying: “And now podcasts increasingly imply video, which was impossible with an original iPod.”

A second said: “I heard a podcaster say they create a “live podcast” and I’m pretty sure that’s a thing called ‘radio’.”

A third added: “The amount of sayings and words related to farming and sailing is crazy.”

And a fourth questioned: “Am I the only one who thought the pod in ‘podcast’ meant Play On Demand?”

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Westend61 / Getty