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Mysteries of vernacular: Bewilder - Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel


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The history of the word bewilder is more straightforward than you might think. Roots can be traced back to the Old English words wilde (undomesticated) and deor (untamed animals), eventually combined into the word wilderness. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel track bewilder's etymological path from meaning natural states to complete confusion.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Here's the online etymology dictionary's entry for bewilder. "Young Goodman Brown (1835) is a short story by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story takes place in Puritan New England, a common setting for Hawthorne's works, and addresses one of his common themes: the conflict between good and evil in human nature and, in particular, the problem of public goodness and private wickedness." The story follows the title character into a bewildering journey. See all the Mysteries of Vernacular here.

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Meet The Creators

  • Director Jessica Oreck
  • Producer Rachael Teel

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