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The Allusionist
The Allusionist
Helen Zaltzman

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

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146. Survival: Today, Tomorrow part 1

The Icelandic language has remained so stable over the centuries, speakers can read manuscripts from 900 years ago without too... more

24 Nov 2021 · 33 minutes
Allusionist 145. Parents

When you're trans and pregnant, some of the vocabulary of pregnancy, birth and parenting might not fit you. In fact,... more

07 Nov 2021 · 44 minutes
Allusionist 144. Aro Ace

The word 'asexual' has been used by humans describing themselves for several decades; 'aromantic' is newer. Both words enable people... more

26 Oct 2021 · 27 minutes
143. Hedge Rider

Today it's the etymologies you requested! And a few you didn't! We've got witches, wizards, warlocks; conjurers and cloves; wood... more

13 Oct 2021 · 26 minutes
142. Zero

Did any number cause as much trouble as zero? It stranded ships; it scrambles the brains of mathematicians, calendar users... more

25 Sep 2021 · 24 minutes
141. Food Quiz

Quiz time! Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway of Home Cooking podcast join to deliver questions about food etymology, as well... more

10 Sep 2021 · 28 minutes
140. Num8er5

We use verbal numbers and we use numerals - why do we need both? Why do we have the ones... more

30 Aug 2021 · 33 minutes
Tranquillusionist: 282 Salads

This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, read all the salads from the 1950 recipe book 282 Ways... more

14 Aug 2021 · 34 minutes
139 Ladybird Ladybug

They're not ladies and they're not birds; they're not even technically bugs! But that's not the most surprising thing about... more

12 Jul 2021 · 21 minutes
138. Mind My Mind

Crazy, insane, nuts, mad, bonkers, psycho, schizo, OCD - casual vocabulary is strewn with mental health terms, but perhaps shouldn't... more

27 Jun 2021 · 31 minutes
The Allusionist
146. Survival: Today, Tomorrow part 1
The Allusionist