158 episodes

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

The Allusionist Helen Zaltzman

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 790 Ratings

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

    143. Hedge Rider

    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 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, mysteries and comedies from around the world. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to Acorn.TV and using my promo code allusionist. (Be sure to type that code in lower case.) 
    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet - and super-smooth undies and T-shirts too. Get 20 percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Catan, the building and trading board game where no two games are the same. Allusionist listeners get 10 percent off the original base game at catanshop.com/allusionist.



    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    142. Zero

    142. Zero

    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/zero. 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. 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:

    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet - and super-smooth undies and T-shirts too. Get 20 percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • 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 code allusionist. (Be sure to type that code in lower case.)
    • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/allusionist.



    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 24 min
    141. Food Quiz

    141. Food Quiz

    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 instagram.com/allusionistshow. Let me know what you scored in the quiz!

    Our ad partner is Multitude. To sponsor an episode of the show, contact them at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:

    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet - and super-smooth undies and T-shirts too. Get 20 percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a good-looking, good-acting website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code ALLUSIONIST. 



    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    Allusionist 140. Num8er5

    Allusionist 140. Num8er5

    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.

    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, mysteries and comedies from around the world. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to Acorn.TV and using my promo code allusionist. (Be sure to type that code in lower case.) 
    • Catan, the building and trading board game where no two games are the same. Allusionist listeners get 10 percent off the original base game at catanshop.com/allusionist.
    • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/allusionist.

    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    Tranquillusionist: 282 Salads

    Tranquillusionist: 282 Salads

    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 in-room or online are available via theallusionist.org/events, where you'll also find information about the Raise Three Fingers fundraiser for Myanmar that I'm cohosting with MiMi Aye in London on 22 August.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow. Support the show by becoming a patron at patreon.com/allusionist - you get discounted tickets to the new live show!

    Our ad partner is Multitude. To sponsor an episode of the show, contact them at multitude.productions/ads. This episode is sponsored by:

    • Skillshare, the online learning community offering thousands of inspiring classes for creative and curious people. Explore your creativity at Skillshare.com/allusionist and get a one month free trial of premium membership. 
    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet - and super-smooth undies and T-shirts too. Get 20 percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a good-looking, good-acting website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. 

    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    139 Ladybird Ladybug

    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 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 Allusionist live show on 4 September 2021, plus the story of my all too brief spell of having a loveliness of pet ladybirds.

    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, mysteries and comedies from around the world. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to Acorn.TV and using my promo code allusionist. (Be sure to type that code in lower case.) 
    • Bombas, makers of the most comfortable socks in the history of feet - and super-smooth undies and T-shirts too. Get 20 percent off your first purchase at bombas.com/allusionist.
    • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a good-looking, good-acting website. Go to squarespace.com/allusionist for a free trial, and get 10 percent off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code allusionist. 

    Support the show: http://patreon.com/allusionist

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
790 Ratings

790 Ratings

DerekAlmknd ,

Always engaging

Always interesting

Eden falls2014 ,

My new favourite podcast yey!

Love this show! Its an engaging, entertaining, educational, well informed, warm hearted, unpretentious podcast delivered with a sense of humour that makes me chuckle and what’s even better, as I’m late to the party in have the pleasure of millions of episodes to get through. Thank you Helen!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

infinitezimální ,

Bonzer

Packin' my dacks over this!

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