In the beginning
While it's true our first ancestors may have used some type of sign language, eventually verbal communication evolved. And, one way that people have studied very old words is by trying to find cognates, which are words that have the same meaning—and often a similar sound—across different languages. For example, you can compare the word father to padre (Italian), pere (French), pater (Latin), and pitar (Sanskrit).
The oldest words we know of are building block words, reflecting key elements in developing societies across humanity. So, let's look at some of the oldest words we could find—a linguistic square one. These words go back more than a thousand years! “Back in the day,” indeed.