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The Allusionist
The Allusionist
Helen Zaltzman

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

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Episodes

189. Mouthful of Fortune

At Lunar New Year, certain foods are particularly lucky to eat. Why? Because in Chinese, their names are puns on... more

10 Feb 2024 · 25 minutes
188. Lipread

Lipreading has been in the news this month, thanks to gossip-stoking mouth movements at the Golden Globes that the amateur... more

28 Jan 2024 · 42 minutes
187. Bonus 2023

It's our annual end of year parade of all the extra good stuff this year's podguests talked about, including a... more

24 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
186. Ravels

We’ve got knitting! We’ve got eponyms!! We’ve got knitting eponyms!!! Which come with a whole load of battles, f-boys, duels,... more

12 Dec 2023 · 33 minutes
185. Gems and Patties

We’re returning to the theme of renaming, for two food-related renamings: the first one that mostly happened, the second that... more

20 Nov 2023 · 37 minutes
184. Misophonia

The word 'misophonia' describes a condition that statistically, 20 per cent of you have: an extreme reaction to certain sounds.... more

06 Nov 2023 · 52 minutes
Apple Fest!

All aboard, we're off to the 2023 Apple Festival at the University of British Columbia, to taste some apples and,... more

22 Oct 2023 · 41 minutes
183. Timucua

When Spanish missionaries arrived in what is now called Florida, there were 100,000-200,000 Timucua people in the region. Just two... more

09 Oct 2023 · 35 minutes
182. Siblings of Chaos

Lexicographer, author and Dictionary Corner resident Susie Dent has been studying words to make us feel happy. She brings etymologies... more

24 Sep 2023 · 36 minutes
181. Cairns

There's an abiding myth that the landmark dictionaries are the work of one man, in a dusty paper-filled garrett tirelessly... more

13 Sep 2023 · 38 minutes
180. Project ENABLE

Sterling Martin was in grad school, studying C. elegans worms, when COVID19 hit and suddenly he found himself in lexicography,... more

25 Aug 2023 · 28 minutes
179. Andy Quiz

It's the annual etymology quizlusionist! I’m on a family holiday for the first time since 1988, so enlisted my brother... more

12 Aug 2023 · 33 minutes
178. Uranus

Have you ever wondered why the planets in our solar system are all named after Roman deities, except two of... more

24 Jun 2023 · 27 minutes
Tranquillusionist: Gay Animals

This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, say a load of words which aren’t really about anything, so... more

09 Jun 2023 · 26 minutes
177. Fat part 2

“The starting point is, and the research questions are all framed by: 'We know it's terrible to be fat, but... more

25 May 2023 · 47 minutes
176. Fat part 1

It should just be an accurate descriptor of my body, but the word 'fat' has shaped so much more of... more

12 May 2023 · 29 minutes
175. Eurovision part 2

Oh, you thought the Eurovision Song Contest was about songs? Or a fun international TV event that brings people together... more

21 Apr 2023 · 33 minutes
174. Eurovision part 1

There aren't many multilingual, multinational television shows that have been running for nearly seven decades. But what makes the Eurovision... more

07 Apr 2023 · 32 minutes
173. Death

"You can't redead the dead by you saying something shit," says Cariad Lloyd of Griefcast and author of You Are... more

24 Mar 2023 · 47 minutes
172. A Brief History of Brazilian Portuguese

"The myths, or the received wisdom, about Portuguese language in Brazil is that, of course we know we speak a... more

10 Mar 2023 · 40 minutes
The Allusionist
179. Andy Quiz
The Allusionist
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Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Overcast
Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Castbox
Stitcher
Podbean
iHeartRadio
Player FM
Podcast Republic
Castro
RadioPublic
RSS

Description

It's the annual etymology quizlusionist! I’m on a family holiday for the first time since 1988, so enlisted my brother Andy Zaltzman... more