Hot For Words Featuring Marina Orlova on Heroin

If you’ve spent anytime on YouTube, you may have noticed one of the more popular channels on the site, Hot For Words. Also available at, these short video clips which began as a series called “Intelligence is Sexy”, feature Marina Orlova, a Russian philologist (a fancy word for someone who studies the origin of words, relationships between languages and other forms of linguistics).


In this video, Marina Orlova (breast perked as usual) makes a rather annoying attempt (although she makes up for it in looks) at finding the origin of the word Heroin.


Heroin was first fabricated in 1874 by an English chemist at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London. The video is right that in the fact that heroin is a product of Bayer pharmaceutical company and he name heroin does come from the word heroisch, German for heroic.


Between the years 1898 and 1910, heroin was advertised as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough suppressant. At one point, Bayer advertised heroin as a cure for morphine addiction. What Marina Orlova doesn’t tell you in the Hot For Words video is that once Bayer found out that heroin was even more addictive than morphine, the product became a huge embarrassment for Bayer. 



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