The Allusionist

Informações:

Sinopsis

Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman, TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Episodios

  • 143. Hedge Rider

    13/10/2021 Duración: 26min

    Today it's the etymologies you requested! And a few you didn't! We've got witches, wizards, warlocks; conjurers and cloves; wood shavings, nice gone nasty, and a whole lot more. Plus, a bold method of scaring away a ghost, if you must. Find out more about the topics covered in this episode at theallusionist.org/hedgerider. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses and bonus etymologies. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. To sponsor an episode of the show, contact them at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Acorn TV, the streaming service featuring hundreds of dramas, myster

  • 142. Zero

    25/09/2021 Duración: 24min

    Did any number cause as much trouble as zero? It stranded ships; it scrambles the brains of mathematicians, calendar users and computers; it even got itself banned in Florence. Math(s) communicator and drag queen Kyne explains the Terminator of numbers. Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/foodquiz. And submit requests for words you'd like me to investigate in the next episode at theallusionist.org/requests. Until 4 October 2021, you can stream the London Podfest performance of the new Allusionist stage show, full of eponyms, music and planets. Link is at theallusionist.org/events. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses, and discounted tickets for the Allusionist stage show. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Sta

  • 141. Food Quiz

    10/09/2021 Duración: 28min

    Quiz time! Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway of Home Cooking podcast join to deliver questions about food etymology, as well as what are the two words that make a dance track, and whether 'za' is an acceptable abbreviation for 'pizza'. Play along and keep track of your score using the interactive scoresheet at theallusionist.org/foodquiz. For the rest of September 2021, you can stream the London Podfest performance of the new Allusionist live show, full of eponyms, music and planets. Link is at theallusionist.org/events. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get behind the scenes glimpses, and discounted tickets for the Allusionist live show. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and inst

  • Allusionist 140. Num8er5

    30/08/2021 Duración: 33min

    We use verbal numbers and we use numerals - why do we need both? Why do we have the ones we have? What happened to Roman numerals? And what's loserish about the fiftieth Super Bowl? Stephen Chrisomalis, professor of anthropology and linguistics and author of the book Reckonings: Numerals, Cognition and History, returns to the Allusionist to explain our current numbers, and why we shouldn't get too arrogant about them. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/numbers. Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get discounted tickets to the upcoming Allusionist live show on 4 September 2021. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. O

  • Tranquillusionist: 282 Salads

    14/08/2021 Duración: 34min

    This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, read all the salads from the 1950 recipe book 282 Ways of Making a Salad, with Favourite Recipes by British and American Personalities and Stars by Bebe Daniels and Jill Algood, with the purpose of giving your internal monologue a break by replacing it with some absolutely inconsequential words. Note: this is NOT the usual Allusionist. You will not learn anything about language at all, in fact the ideal outcome of the Tranquillusionists is that you’re asleep before the end.  Find all the Allusionist episodes - other Tranquillusionists and also ones that are actually about something - at theallusionist.org. The original music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s songs at palebirdmusic.com or on Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. And listen to his podcasts Neutrino Watch and Song By Song. Come to see me and Martin perform an all new Allusionist live show at the London Podcast Festival on 4 September 2021! Tickets to attend i

  • 139 Ladybird Ladybug

    12/07/2021 Duración: 21min

    They're not ladies and they're not birds; they're not even technically bugs! But that's not the most surprising thing about ladybirds/ladybugs and their brilliant variety of names. Tamsin Majerus AKA Dr Ladybird explains why ladybirds are so great; and Johanna Mayer and Elah Feder of the podcast Science Diction, about words and the science stories behind them, consider what's in a (ladybird) name. This episode is one half of a collaboration with Science Diction, so go to their feed to listen to their episode It’ll Never Fly, where they set me a quiz about the outlandish and intriguing names given to fruitfly genes. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/ladybird. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist and as well as supporting the show, you get discounted tickets to the upcoming Allusi

  • 138. Mind My Mind

    27/06/2021 Duración: 31min

    Crazy, insane, nuts, mad, bonkers, psycho, schizo, OCD - casual vocabulary is strewn with mental health terms, but perhaps shouldn't be? Psychotherapist and podcaster Lily Sloane talks about what we're really saying when we use such words. Content note: in the second half of the show there is some mention of eating disorders. So if that’s not what you need to hear about today, tap out at the ad break. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/mind-my-mind. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  Sign up to be a patron at patreon.com/allusionist by the end of June 2021, and I'll record the word or phrase of your choice to use as your phone alert or alarm! The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Mul

  • 137. Dude

    10/06/2021 Duración: 26min

    Exclamation; sign of agreement OR disapproval; gendered, but circumstantially gender-neutral; term of endearment: 'dude' can do it all! But its connotations of a laid-back, cool, masculine person are only a few decades old; before that, it meant...an uptight city-dwelling tourist?? Dude, seriously! There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/dude. Callie Wright's podcast is Queersplaining, which you can find in the kinds of places you obtain this podcast, and at queersplaining.com.  Want to be barked awake/gently introduced to the day by me saying the word of your choice? Become a patreon at patreon.com/allusionist by the end of this month of June 2021, and I will record the word or short phrase of your choice to use as your phone alert or alarm! All patrons get to choose a word, and all patrons get the recordings of all the patrons’ choices. This is going to be fun. Oh and you’re helping fund the show too, of course. The Allusionist theme is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s o

  • 136. Misogynoir

    28/05/2021 Duración: 26min

    “It's hard to address something if you can't actually name what it is,” says Moya Bailey, who coined a term that enables people to discuss a specific combination of racism and sexism: misogynoir. Find Moya Bailey's work at moyabailey.com. Her new book is Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women's Digital Resistance.  There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at theallusionist.org/misogynoir. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. This episode is sponsored by: • Acorn TV, the streaming service featuring hundreds of dramas, mysteries and comedies from around the world. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to Acorn.TV and using my promo

  • 135. SOS

    14/05/2021 Duración: 23min

    SOS is a really versatile distress call. You can shout it; you can tap it out in Morse code; you can honk it on a horn; you can signal it with flashes of light; you can spell it out on the beach with debris from your wrecked ship. Explaining where SOS came from and what it means are maritime archivist Christian Ostersehlte from the German Maritime Museum, and Paul Tyreman from PK Porthcurno, the Museum of Global Telecommunications. Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/sos.  There are a couple of category B swears in this episode. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. This episode is sponsored by: •

  • Allusionist: Eclipse+

    23/04/2021 Duración: 29min

    It’s August 2007. Lauren Marks is a 27-year-old actor and a PhD student, spending the month directing a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s in a bar, standing onstage, performing a karaoke duet of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’…and then a blood vessel in her brain bursts. When she wakes up in hospital, days later, she has no internal monologue, and a vocabulary of only about forty words.  This is a rerun of an all time fave Allusionist, but with a few extra little bits added. Content note: this episode is about a medical crisis (everyone survives, though!), and has some Category A swears in it. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/totaleclipse, and more about Lauren at http://astitchoftime.com. The special music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at pat

  • 134. Lacuna

    10/04/2021 Duración: 31min

    If you were in Brazil during the military dictatorship of 1964-1985, tried to bake a cake from a recipe in the newspaper, and were served with a sorry mess that tasted disgustingly salty, it wasn't your fault. What you thought was a recipe was actually a message from the newspaper that they were being censored.  Designer and researcher Crystian Cruz opens up the TOP SECRET files, to share the fake weather reports, single nipples vs a pair, soap opera characters getting bumped off, and the problems with kung fu.  Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/lacuna.  There is one swear towards the end of this episode. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusi

  • 133. Cake is Mighter than the Sword

    27/03/2021 Duración: 21min

    What to do to stick it to the powers that be? Send your message through something they really care about: cake. In Buenos Aires, local tour guides Madi Lang and Juan Palacios introduce me to priest's balls and little cannons, the pastries laced with the sweet taste of 1880s trade union protests. There are a few swears and saucy references in this episode. Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/cake-sword.  The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. This episode is sponsored by: • Soft Voice, a terrific new fiction podcast about the mental health of 25-year-old London estate agent Lydia. Subscribe now on yo

  • 132. Additions and Losses

    12/03/2021 Duración: 31min

    "Sometimes I've heard people talk about losing a child and people say it's like losing a limb. And as someone who's lost both things, I just want to say, the realities are very different." Musician and writer Christa Couture has experienced way too much of people trying to convey sympathy and instead expressing their discomfort about disability and death.  Content note: we talk about ableism, cancer and bereavement. Part of the conversation is about the deaths of two of Christa's babies, so stop listening at the 20-minute mark if you need not to hear about that subject right now. Find more about this episode at theallusionist.org/additions-losses. Christa Couture's website is christacouture.com. Her excellent new memoir How To Lose Everything is out now, and her music is available on Bandcamp, Spotify etc. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's onlin

  • 131. Podlingual

    25/02/2021 Duración: 32min

    In their podcasts Mija and Moonface, Lory Martinez and James Kim create autobiographical fiction in multiple languages.  There are a few swears in this episode. Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/podlingual and hear the whole conversation, and the others in the series, on Scripps College's podcast feed.  The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. If you'd like to sponsor the Allusionist this year, contact Amanda McLoughlin via multitude.productions/contact. This episode is sponsored by: • Brooklinen, luxury bedding without the mark-ups. Go to Brooklinen.com and use promo code allusionist to get $25 off when you spend $100 or

  • 130. Valentine

    14/02/2021 Duración: 18min

    St Valentine's name may nowadays be all over the romance-related merch for 14 February, but he was also the patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy and plagues. Let's get to know this multi-hyphenate saint a bit better. Find out more about topics covered in this episode at theallusionist.org/valentine. All the information in this episode is real, even though it sounds like it's not. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. If you'd like to sponsor the Allusionist this year, contact Amanda McLoughlin via multitude.productions/contact. This episode is sponsored by: • Brooklinen, luxury bedding without the mark-ups. Go to Brooklinen.com and use prom

  • 129. Sorry

    31/01/2021 Duración: 35min

    Apologies are such important verbal transactions. So why are so many of them soooo bad? Susan McCarthy and Marjorie Ingall from SorryWatch and Laura Beaudin of fauxpolo.gy pinpoint what to look out for, to sort the apologies from the fauxpologies. There’s more about this episode at theallusionist.org/sorry. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionists how and instagram.com/allusionistshow. If you'd like to sponsor the Allusionist this year, contact Amanda McLoughlin via multitude.productions/contact. This episode is sponsored by: • Skillshare, the online learning community with thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people. Get a free trial of Premium Membership at Ski

  • 128. Bonus 2020

    24/12/2020 Duración: 31min

    To round off the year, here are some choice cuts from the Allusionist vault of interesting things that guests said that there wasn’t room for in the original episodes. Brace yourself for a vivid name for dust bunnies, the scary side of glamour, another reason to be grateful for bears, and Schrödinger’s Fart. There’s more about this episode at theallusionist.org/bonus2020. The show will be back with new episodes in late January 2021. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • 127. A Festive Hit for 2020

    14/12/2020 Duración: 30min

    The usual canon of Christmas songs may not really fit people's moods in this year 2020, when I'm not sure a lot of us are feeling all that holly jolly. So I drafted in singer and songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs and we wrote a festive song that is suitable for 2020. Content note: there are swears. Several of them. Jenny Owen Youngs makes music - find it at jennyowenyoungs.com - and podcasts - Buffering the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars Investigations. She’s @jennyowenyoungs on Twitter and Instagram. Martin Austwick provided music, backing vocals and linguistic analysis. Hear Martin’s own songs at palebirdmusic.com or on Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. He also composed the music for the kids’ science podcast Maddie’s Sound Explorers. There’s more about this episode at theallusionist.org/mistletoe. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusi

  • 126. Survival: Custodians of the Languages

    28/11/2020 Duración: 29min

    In Australia, there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of languages. Until English arrived. Rudi Bremer and Karina Lester talk about the destruction and revival of indigenous Australian languages. Content note: this episode refers to violence and genocide. Find more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/custodians, and listen to the other episodes in the Survival series: Second Home about Welsh in Patagonia; Oot in the Open, about the suppression and revival of Scots; and Bequest, about queer language in Māori; and the pair of Key episodes are about language extinction and preservation. The Allusionist music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s songs at palebirdmusic.com or on Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram. He also composed the music for the new kids’ science podcast Maddie’s Sound Explorers. I make two other podcasts, Veronica Mars Investigations and Answer Me This, which are soothingly escapist. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.or

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