Words at Play : Words With Remarkable Origins, Vol. 1

#4: Bedlam

England's first asylum for the mentally ill was The Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem.

In the 16th century, Bethlehem was shortened to Bedlam, and its inmates were dubbed "bedlams."

By the late 17th century, bedlam was being applied to a scene of wild uproar or confusion, and in the decades that followed visiting the hospital became a source of amusement for some wealthy people.

goto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slide
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears