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The Allusionist

Author: Helen Zaltzman

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Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org
216 Episodes
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196. Word Play 6: Beeing

196. Word Play 6: Beeing

2024-06-1058:221

I went to the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee, to marvel at kids spelling words I had mostly never even heard of. But when you’re at Bee Week, the competitive spelling is merely the tip of the icebee. Find out more about this episode, get the transcript, and listen to the rest of the Word Play series, at theallusionist.org/beeing. And visit spellingbee.com for all the information about this year's tournament. Members of the Allusioverse also got daily Beecaps from my time at Bee Week, so if you want to read those, head to theallusionist.org/donate. Plus, you get regular livestreams with me and my collection of reference books, inside scoops into the making of this show, watchalong parties, and the company of your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. AND you’ll also be keeping this independent podcast going.  Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk winningly about your product or thing on the show, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Understance: comfortable, stylish, size-inclusive bras and undies. Shop the range - there's a big anniversary sale 11-13 June! - and learn about your own branatomy at understance.com.•  Babbel, the language-learning app designed by real people for real conversations. Get up to 60% off your Babbel subscription at Babbel.com/allusionist.• Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire/new home for your cryptic puzzle that takes months to solve. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Cain's Jawbone, a murder mystery cryptic puzzle novella in the form of 100 pages presented in the wrong order, has many millions of possible solutions but only one that is correct. 86 years after it was published, writer, comedian and crossword constructor John Finnemore solved it. And then, craving another 100-page cryptic puzzle murder story, he wrote his own. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the people, puzzles and topics therein, at theallusionist.org/solvitude. The original Cain's Jawbone by Edward Powys Mathers, and John Finnemore's new The Researcher's First Murder, are both available to buy from unbound.com. This is the fifth instalment in the Word Play series about word games and puzzles; previous episodes include the history of anagrams, recent developments in crosswords, and turning words into games. The next episode will be about the Scripps Spelling Bee, which I am attending this week. I’ll be posting about my Bee time on facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow, but members of the Allusioverse will be getting Discord updates as well as lolloping odd essays from the Bee, so if you want those, scoot along to theallusionist.org/donate - and you’ll also be keeping this independent podcast going, in return for which you get regular livestreams, inside scoops into the making of this show, watchalong parties, and the company of your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Understance: comfortable, stylish, size-inclusive bras and undies. Shop the range and learn about your own branatomy - like I did! - at understance.com.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothing essentials, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase.  • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire/new home for your cryptic puzzle that takes months to solve. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Exciting things have been happening with crossword puzzles in the US: more constructors, more outlets to get puzzles published, clues and answers that would never have appeared even a few years ago, and puzzle packs raising a whole lot of money for charities and humanitarian causes.  You hear from crossword constructor extraordinaire Erik Agard, Juliana Pache of BlackCrossword.com, Rachel Fabi of These Puzzles Fund Abortion, and Adrian Johnson from Puzzles for Palestine. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the people, puzzles and topics therein at theallusionist.org/grids. This is another instalment in the Word Play series about word games and puzzles; previous episodes include the history of anagrams, and turning words into games.  Content note: there is one Category B swear. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, chaotic inside scoops into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Babbel, the language-learning app designed by real people for real conversations. Get up to 60% off your Babbel subscription at Babbel.com/allusionist.`• Home Chef, meal kits that fit your needs. For a limited time, Home Chef is offering Allusionist listeners 18 free meals, plus free shipping on your first box, and free dessert for life, at HomeChef.com/allusionist.• Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
AJ Jacobs makes The Puzzler podcast, wrote The Puzzler book, and sometimes turns his whole life into a puzzle. He comes bearing word games, explanations of anagrams being used to precipitate wars and were key evidence in trials, tips for writing with a quill, below-the-knee insults, and tales of living constitutionally. AJ's new book is The Year of Living Constitutionally: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Constitution's Original Meaning. Find his work at AJJacobs.com. Get the transcript of this episode, and get links to more information about the topics therein and the other episodes in the Word Play miniseries, at theallusionist.org/lemon-demon. Content note: there are mentions of guns, historical punishments and violence, vomiting, and drunkenness. There are also a couple of category A swears, and some category C swears. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes - and, newly, slides! - ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase.  • The Art of Crime history podcast, investigating the unlikely collisions between true crime and the arts. Listen to the latest season, about Madame Tussaud, at ArtOfCrimepodcast.com and in the podplaces.• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Home Chef, meal kits that fit your needs. For a limited time, Home Chef is offering Allusionist listeners 18 free meals, plus free shipping on your first box, and free dessert for life, at HomeChef.com/allusionist.Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
192. Word Play part 2

192. Word Play part 2

2024-04-0942:15

This episode, and the next couple of episodes, are about word games! Today, Joshua Blackburn recounts how his sons' uninspiring English homework led to him inventing the language quiz game League of the Lexicon; and Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalıoğlu of Thorny Games explain how they make topics like language loss and deciphering alien language into creative play. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/wordplay2. Word Play part 1, featuring Leslie Scott from Oxford Games, is nine years down your podfeed. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. We'll be playing a space-themed show in the planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC on 18 April 2024; get tickets via theallusionist.org/events. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Babbel, the language-learning app designed by real people for real conversations. Get up to 60% off your Babbel subscription at Babbel.com/allusionist.• Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• Home Chef, meal kits that fit your needs. For a limited time, Home Chef is offering Allusionist listeners 18 free meals, plus free shipping on your first box, and free dessert for life, at HomeChef.com/allusionist.Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
191. Hypochondria

191. Hypochondria

2024-03-2349:082

The word 'hypochondria' has travelled from meaning physical ailments in a particular region of your body, to ones that are only in your mind. It has been in fashion, and thoroughly out; it has been subject to a range of treatments; it has been lucrative for quacks; and it's a very understandable form of anxiety - which I have, and so does Caroline Crampton, author of the new book A Body Made of Glass: A History of Hypochondria. Content note: this episode contains a lot of discussion about health anxiety. There are mentions of cancer, doctors and hospitals - but not detailed accounts of medical conditions or treatments.  Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/hypochondria. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. We'll be playing a space-themed show in the planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC on 18 April 2024; get tickets via theallusionist.org/events. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • This Is How We Heal from Painful Childhoods: A Practical Guide to Healing Past Intergenerational Stress and Trauma, the new book from Dr Ernest Ellender. Find out more about his work and buy the book at healfromchildhood.com.  Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
190. Craters

190. Craters

2024-03-1137:032

"It's quite a big undertaking going through every named feature in the whole solar system and trying to find out who that person was." When PhD student Annie Lennox discovered a crater on Mercury, she got the chance to name it. Which sent her on a bigger space mission. Content note: this episode contains mentions of, but not descriptions of, sexual violence. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to more information about the topics therein including how to get involved with the next planetary hackathon, at theallusionist.org/craters. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. We'll be playing a space-themed show in the planetarium at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver BC on 18 April 2024; get tickets via theallusionist.org/events. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:• Home Chef, meal kits that fit your needs. For a limited time, Home Chef is offering Allusionist listeners 18 free meals, plus free shipping on your first box, and free dessert for life, at HomeChef.com/allusionist.• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, soothe your brain by saying a load of words that don’t really mean very much, to give you an emotional break by temporarily supplanting your interior monologue with something you can benignly ignore. Note: this is NOT a normal episode of the Allusionist, where you might learn something about language and your brain might be energised. The Tranquillusionist's purpose is to rest your brain and for you to learn nothing. If you like it, there's a collection of tranquillusionists at theallusionist.org/tranquillusionist, on themes including champion dogs, Australia's big things, gay animals and more. Today: a list of the characters who don't have names in film credits. Find out more, and read the transcript, at theallusionist.org/person-in-scene. Content note: this episode contains some terminology from the original film credits that I do not endorse, plus one Category B swear and four Category A swears (which I endorse just fine). Enormous thanks to Jez Burrows for letting me use some 2,700 of these that he had collected for his book And Introducing. Find it and his other work - including his book Dictionary Stories, short stories composed of the example sentences from dictionaries - at jezburrows.com. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear his songs at palebirdmusic.com, and his podcasts Neutrino Watch and Song By Song in the usual podplaces. Help keep this independent podcast alive by becoming a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate; your additional perks include regular livestreams with readings from my dictionaries, inside scoop of the making of every episode, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist.   Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
189. Mouthful of Fortune

189. Mouthful of Fortune

2024-02-1025:471

At Lunar New Year, certain foods are particularly lucky to eat. Why? Because in Chinese, their names are puns on fortunate things. Damn, maybe noodles are all it takes to get me into puns after all... Professor Miranda Brown, cultural historian of China specialising in food and drink, explains the wordplay foods of new year, and why names are so resonant in Chinese. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to Miranda Brown's work and more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/fortune. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown - next weekend, the film Arrival) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
188. Lipread

188. Lipread

2024-01-2842:28

Lipreading has been in the news this month, thanks to gossip-stoking mouth movements at the Golden Globes that the amateur lipreaders of The Internet rushed to interpret. But lipreading tutor Helen Barrow describes how reading lips really works - the confusable consonants, the importance of context and body language - and gossip maven Lainey Lui explains why these regularly occurring lipreading gossip stories are unworthy of a second or even first glance. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to the guests and more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/lipread. Content note: this episode contains three Category B swears. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick of palebirdmusic.com. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Kitsch, fun and useful skincare, haircare and accessories and styling tools. Get 30% off your entire order at MyKitsch.com/allusionist.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
187. Bonus 2023

187. Bonus 2023

2023-12-2401:02:022

It's our annual end of year parade of all the extra good stuff this year's podguests talked about, including a mythical disappearing island, geese, human dictionaries, the dubious history of the Body Mass Index, Victorian death department stores, and much more. In order of appearance, we hear from: Translator and author Caetano Galindo on how the countril Brazil got its name Lexicographer and Countdown's Dictionary Corner-er Susie Dent on pleasing words Academic and collector of dictionaries Lindsay Rose Russell on walking dictionaries and sleeping dictionaries Writer and Maintenance Phase cohost Aubrey Gordon on the origins and misuse of the BMI and body positivity movement Historian Dean Vuletic on why we say "Nul points!" about Eurovision losers Council funeral officer Evie King on alternatives to cremation Griefcast's Cariad Lloyd on Victorian Brits' rules for grief, and the misuse of the concept of five stages of grief. Plus! Renaming updates, movie-named knitwear, and my portmanteaus and portmantNOs of the year. Content notes: this episode contains discussions of death, grief, anti-fat bias, eugenics and racism; I've included warnings in the audio before each section where they're relevant, so you know which specific parts to skip if you need to. Get the transcript of this episode, and find links to the guests and more information about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/bonus2023 This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick of Neutrino Watch and Song By Song podcasts provides the Allusionist music. Thanks to Ashra for the inwhiches, Amanda and Carly from Multitude for the ad sales, and Tort, Lilly and Chris for their community modding. And thank you for listening to the show, and recommending it to others! Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams, insight into the making of this show, and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow etc. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Ravensburger, who make all sorts of jigsaw puzzles, including light-up 3D puzzles and puzzles you can use as pen holders afterwards. Buy Ravensburger puzzles in your preferred puzzle emporium and from Ravensburger's official websites. • Kitsch, fun and useful skincare, haircare and accessories and styling tools. Get 30% off your entire order at MyKitsch.com/allusionist.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Canva, great design at your fingertips to level up your videos/presentations/websites etc. And you can collaborate: get a FREE 45-day extended trial when you go to Canva.me/allusionist.  Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
186. Ravels

186. Ravels

2023-12-1233:57

We’ve got knitting! We’ve got eponyms!! We’ve got knitting eponyms!!! Which come with a whole load of battles, f-boys, duels, baseball, espionage, scandals - and socks, lots of socks. Fibre artist and Yarn Stories podcaster Miriam Felton discusses why grafting should ditch the name 'kitchener stitch'; we learn about the eponymous cardigan; and three towns in Ontario take pretty different approaches to having problematic namesakes. Content note: this episode contains mentions of war, death and injuries. Get the transcript of this episode, and find out more about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/ravels. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick of Neutrino Watch and Song By Song podcasts provides the Allusionist music. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. This month, we’ll be watching Muppet Christmas Carol together, and Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah, as well as the festive Pottery Throwdown and Bake Off specials. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• Ravensburger, who make all sorts of jigsaw puzzles, including ones you design yourself. Buy Ravensburger puzzles in your preferred puzzle emporium and from Ravensburger's official websites.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
185. Gems and Patties

185. Gems and Patties

2023-11-2037:08

We’re returning to the theme of renaming, for two food-related renamings: the first one that mostly happened, the second that mostly did not - but in a good way. Dr Erin Pritchard persuaded a British supermarket to rebrand a type of sweets that had a slur in their name. And Chris Strikes recounts the renaming conflict that was the Toronto Patty Wars of 1985. Content note: the first part of the episode concerns an ableist slur, so there are incidences of that slur, and discussion of ableism and later anti-Black racism. Get the transcript of this episode, and find out more about the topics therein, at theallusionist.org/gemsandpatties. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick of Neutrino Watch and Song By Song podcasts provides the Allusionist music. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. You can also sign up for free to receive occasional email reminders about Allusionist stuff. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Catan, the endlessly reconfigurable social board game. Shop at catanshop.com/allusionist and get 10% off the original base game CATAN by using the promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout. • Ravensburger, who make the world's largest Disney jigsaw puzzle - 40,320 pieces! As well as many other sizes of puzzles. Buy Ravensburger puzzles in your preferred puzzle emporium.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
184. Misophonia

184. Misophonia

2023-11-0652:121

The word 'misophonia' describes a condition that statistically, 20 per cent of you have: an extreme reaction to certain sounds. "For me, it was a relief to have a word for what I'd been experiencing," says Dr Jane Gregory, author of the new book Sounds Like Misophonia: How to Stop Small Noises from Causing Extreme Reactions, "because I thought for a long time that I was really uptight or maybe a bit controlling over other people, and that that was a problem with my character, as opposed to it actually being a problem with the way that my brain processes sounds." Jane offers advice for handling with misophonia, including some very simple verbal techniques. Find out more about this episode and the topics therein and read the transcript at theallusionist.org/misophonia. This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick of Neutrino Watch and Song By Song podcasts provides the Allusionist music. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. You can also sign up for free to receive occasional email reminders about Allusionist stuff. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing on the show in 2024, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apple Fest!

Apple Fest!

2023-10-2241:222

All aboard, we're off to the 2023 Apple Festival at the University of British Columbia, to taste some apples and, most importantly, enjoy some apple names. And before that, we return to the classic Sporklusionist applesode to refresh our memory about how apple names are chosen - eponyms, portmanteaus, geography, or corporate R&D, just like how our ancestors named apples. Dan Pashman hosts The Sporkful podcast - head to the Sporkful podfeed or sporkful.com to listen to the companion episode where we learn about how new varietals of apples are made. Kate Evans, Kathryn Grandy and Joanna Crosby explain the history of apple names and the current process for coining new ones. My companions at the apple festival are Hannah McGregor of Material Girls podcast, and Martin Austwick of Neutrino Watch and Song By Song podcasts. Martin also provides the Allusionist music. Find out more about this episode and the topics therein, read the transcript, and see pictures of the apple festival at theallusionist.org/applefest. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. You can also sign up for free to receive occasional email reminders about Allusionist stuff. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Wildgrain, the subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries that you can cook from frozen in 25 minutes. Get $30 off your first box, PLUS free croissants in every box, when you start your subscription at Wildgrain.com/allusionist or use promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout.• Ravensburger, the official supplier of jigsaw puzzles to the World Jigsaw Puzzle Championships!• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist.   Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
183. Timucua

183. Timucua

2023-10-0935:14

When Spanish missionaries arrived in what is now called Florida, there were 100,000-200,000 Timucua people in the region. Just two centuries later, there were fewer than 100. Soon, with all the people who spoke it dead, the Timucua language died out, too, preserved only in a few Spanish-Timucua religious texts. In the 21st century, linguistic anthropologist Aaron Broadwell and historian Alejandra Dubcovsky have been decoding and translating these texts to understand the Timucua language and the people who were writing it down. Find out more about this episode and the topics therein, and obtain the transcript, at theallusionist.org/timucua. Content note: in the episode there is mention of slavery, genocide, and mistreatment of the indigenous people of what is now called United States of America. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. We're watching the new season of Great British Bake Off together, and a Death Becomes Her watchalong becomes us later in October. The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch via facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Ravensburger, the official puzzle supplier of the World Jigsaw Puzzle Championships!• Catan, the endlessly reconfigurable social board game. Shop at catanshop.com/allusionist and get 10% off the original base game CATAN by using the promo code ALLUSIONIST at checkout. • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
182. Siblings of Chaos

182. Siblings of Chaos

2023-09-2436:204

Lexicographer, author and Dictionary Corner resident Susie Dent has been studying words to make us feel happy. She brings etymologies concerning cows, gas, guts and fat, of bellies and breathing and bonanzas. And some that came from the high seas and aren't made up! Find out more about this episode and the topics therein, and obtain the transcript, at theallusionist.org/siblings-of-chaos. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. We'll be watching the new season of Great British Bake Off together, starting Tuesday 26 September 2023. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Ravensburger, who make jigsaw puzzles for ages toddler to ancient and piece preferences from two to 40,000!• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • HelloFresh, America’s number 1 meal kit - pre-portioned farm-fresh ingredients and seasonal recipes delivered right to your door. Go to HelloFresh.com/50allusionist and use the code 50allusionist for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months.Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
181. Cairns

181. Cairns

2023-09-1338:061

There's an abiding myth that the landmark dictionaries are the work of one man, in a dusty paper-filled garrett tirelessly working away singlehandedly. But really it took a village: behind every Big Daddy of Lexicography was usually a team of women, keeping the garrett clean, organising the piles of papers, reading through all the citations, doing research, writing definitions, editing, subediting...essentially being lexicographers, without the credit or the pay. Academic Lindsay Rose Russell, author of Women and Dictionary-Making, talks about the roles of women in lexicography: enabling male lexicographers to get the job done, but also making their own dictionaries, and challenging the very paradigms of dictionaries. Find out more about this episode and the topics therein, and obtain the transcript, at theallusionist.org/cairns. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Blueland, refillable home cleaning products eliminating single-use plastics. Get 15% off your first order by going to blueland.com/allusionist. • Kitsch, who make products to care for your hair and skin - shampoo and conditioner bars, soaps, sleep masks, heatless rollers, satin hoodies and bonnets and pillowcases... Get a whopping 30% off your entire order at MyKitsch.com/allusionist. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • HelloFresh, America’s number 1 meal kit - pre-portioned farm-fresh ingredients and seasonal recipes delivered right to your door. Go to HelloFresh.com/50allusionist and use the code 50allusionist for 50% off plus 15% off the next 2 months.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
180. Project ENABLE

180. Project ENABLE

2023-08-2528:541

Sterling Martin was in grad school, studying C. elegans worms, when COVID19 hit and suddenly he found himself in lexicography, as part of a team creating a Navajo-English dictionary of science terms. Browse the dictionary at EnableNavajo.org, and donate to help the project add more educational materials at navajobiology.square.site. Find out more about this episode and the topics therein, and obtain the transcript, at theallusionist.org/projectenable. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. Plus, if you sign up by 31 August 2023, I will record the words and phrases of your choice for you to use as your phone text tone or alarm or doorbell or little message of affirmation. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Blueland, refillable home cleaning products eliminating single-use plastics. Get 15% off your first order by going to blueland.com/allusionist.• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • HelloFresh, America’s number 1 meal kit - pre-portioned farm-fresh ingredients and seasonal recipes delivered right to your door. Go to  HelloFresh.com/50allusionist and use the code 50allusionist for 16 free meals PLUS free shipping.Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
179. Andy Quiz

179. Andy Quiz

2023-08-1233:071

It's the annual etymology quizlusionist! I’m on a family holiday for the first time since 1988, so enlisted my brother Andy Zaltzman of the Bugle podcast to test his/your wits on singing goats, explosives, mythological Greek sweeteners, attics, left-handedness and whales. Can you beat Andy’s score? Play along using the interactive scoresheet at theallusionist.org/andyquiz. Become a member of the Allusioverse at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community. Plus, if you sign up by 31 August 2023, I will record the words and phrases of your choice for you to use as your phone text tone or alarm or doorbell or little message of affirmation. Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by: • Blueland, refillable home cleaning products eliminating single-use plastics. Get 15% off your first order by going to blueland.com/allusionist.• Ravensburger, who have been making jigsaw puzzles since 1883! Try their vast range of puzzles from 2 pieces to 40,000.• Bombas, whose mission is to make the comfiest clothes ever, and match every item sold with an equal item donated. Go to bombas.com/allusionist to get 20% off your first purchase. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running your online empire. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free 2-week trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. • Kitsch, who make products to care for your hair and skin - shampoo and conditioner bars, soaps, sleep masks, heatless rollers, satin hoodies and bonnets and pillowcases... Get a whopping 30% off your entire order at MyKitsch.com/allusionist.Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionistSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (48)

TheMelanieWalker

Who’s your daddy? We Saffers like to know these things…

Jun 10th
Reply

Jeff B

I can't understand anything the guest is saying. it's like she's talking into a can

Nov 23rd
Reply (1)

Helen Leyshon

Hmm a bit of a bitch fest against people who have a healthy body weight. It's OK to enjoy health and fitness dear, calm down.

Sep 2nd
Reply

Chesca

This is clearly made for kids. very young kids to the point it's annoying and unlistenable

Aug 15th
Reply

Janet Lafler

Acorn Woodpeckers! Not surprised.

Jun 11th
Reply

Hanaconda

So, the capsule in Kinder Surprise eggs ws blue in the nineties. If yellow is the yolk, then what was the blue supposed to be?

Aug 11th
Reply

Яна Гельфанд

Dragons are probably because of Charlie Weasley! He is very popularly headcanoned as aroace.

Jul 15th
Reply

Timothy Drummond

Holy cow I never knew this.

Jul 15th
Reply

Mostly Inactive

Great, hilarious music in this episode

Jun 18th
Reply

Timothy Drummond

For that last one, "gig" all the uses seem to share "unstable" as part of their different definitions. Quite interesting.

Feb 6th
Reply

Toby Blowfish

Hey Helen, I have a different experience of people using Dude as a negative, critical term. Perhaps just in gaming communities you see it being used as replacement for 'idiot' in a patronising way such as "Dude, you have no idea what you are talking about." or "Dude, WTF?" !

Jul 4th
Reply

Paul Sampson

I have to say I'm going to have to "tap out" as you warned, at the end. But thank you SO MUCH for covering mental health and eating disorders. I have listened to every episode up to this point, and I appreciate every single one, but I really relate to this one.

Jun 27th
Reply

Jeff Morgan

As the episode ends with a quiet piano closing out with a quiet lonely version of 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart, the timing struck me. This was released on 4/22/21, just after the death of Jim Steinman, the writer of the song, on 4/19/21.

Apr 29th
Reply

James S.

I was wondering when we would get a meta-episode. Nice to learn the story behind the name!

Mar 10th
Reply

Caleb Magner

One of the few flops of an otherwise wonderful podcast. Monotonous and politically fuelled; two of the worst possible elements in any educational content.

Jan 23rd
Reply

Donna Stevens

extremely interesting show... but it would be nice if you could lower the sound level of the music when you read the randomly selected word from the dictionary. It is hard to grasp an unfamiliar word with music playing, especially when the word is not in print.

Dec 23rd
Reply

1942

Have listened and listened.....

Jul 25th
Reply

arty123

Missed this show! Glad it's back

Jun 5th
Reply

eshant gandhi

this is amazing

Apr 22nd
Reply

Carly Strickland

thank you so much for the creation of this episode. it's the best ten minutes I've had in days.

Mar 18th
Reply (2)