Today’s episode is something a bit different to usual. A few months ago, I was a guest on the podcast Ologies, a terrific show where the very funny and delightful and curious Alie Ward interviews an ologist of some kind - bisonologist (ologist of bisons), ludologist (video games), corvid thanatology (crow funerals!).
Alie interviewed me as an etymologist (I’m not a qualified etymologist, mind; just an enthusiast), and we cover etymologies of words including ‘buxom’, ‘mediocre’, ‘coccyx’, ‘lacuna’, bust some etymological myths, discuss some broader attitudes towards language, and wonder why so many people hate the word ‘moist’. Here’s some of our conversation; you can hear the full-length version on Ologies.
There are a couple of swears in it, including what Alie calls ‘the Swiss Army Knife of cussing’.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest independent podcasts. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.
This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
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• Sanditon on PBS, the adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel. Hear interviews with the cast on the Masterpiece Studio podcast on your podblasters or at pbs.org/masterpiecestudio.