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Origins of Words

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Susie Dent on 11 December 2008.

Origins of Words is a short slot presented by Susie Dent between rounds 11 and 12 (previously rounds 9 and 10 in the old 15 round format). The feature was created in September 2007 to recognise Susie's popularity with Countdown fans. The name is slightly misleading as she often explains the origins of phrases as well as words. The slot lasts a couple of minutes and involves Susie explaining the etymology of a few words or phrases, usually on a particular theme.

For a couple of weeks during Series 58 she started using words and phrases from other languages like Spanish, French and German, and giving the literal translations into English.

Sometimes there would be a common theme that connects the words featured in Origins of Words for a week or so. At other times, Susie would get the presenters or the Dictionary Corner guest that week to guess the meaning of an unusual word, in a multiple-choice fashion similarly to Call My Bluff.

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