183 episodes

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

The Allusionist Helen Zaltzman

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 2.7K Ratings

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman. TheAllusionist.org

    166. Fiona part 2

    166. Fiona part 2

    “I don't think that anyone should come away from this conversation not wanting to use the name Fiona. I think this is a beautiful and rich history. It might not be quite the history that you imagined, but I think it's a beautiful history," says writer and performer Harry Josie Giles. She and PhD researcher Moll Heaton-Callaway investigate this complicated name with fascinating history. This is the second half of a pair of episodes about the name Fiona; listen to the first episode before this one! theallusionist.org/fiona1.

    Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/fiona2, where there's also a transcript.

    Both Josie and I relied heavily on Sharon Krossa's research into the etymology of Fiona; read it at medievalscotland.org/problem/names/fiona.shtml.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow, while it still stands. Support the show at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you also get behind-the-scenes glimpses of the show, fortnightly livestreams, special perks at live shows, and best of all the Allusioverse Discord community.

    The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick provided editorial help and the original music. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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

    • Wondrium, the online library of lectures, courses, tutorials, documentaries and more. Get 50% off your first three months of Wondrium at wondrium.com/allusionist.• Brilliant.org: short fun interactive lessons in STEM subjects. To get started for free, visit brilliant.org/allusionist. The first 200 of you will get 20% off Brilliant's annual premium subscription. • 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 a sleek website. 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/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35 min
    165. Fiona part 1

    165. Fiona part 1

    A lot of people assume that Fiona is a very old Scottish name, but the first known Scottish Fiona is from the 1890s: Fiona Macleod, the enormously popular novelist of Scotland's Celtic Revival movement. But when she suddenly stopped writing in 1905...and there turned out to be far more surprises about Fiona Macleod than the novelty of her name. Writer and performer Harry Josie Giles and PhD researcher Moll Callaway-Heaton consider the first Scottish Fiona.

    This is part one of a pair of episodes about the name Fiona; part two will explore the etymology of the name and similar ones in various languages, and examine the first appearance of Fiona in literature, which comes with its own cocktail of complication.

    Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/fiona1, where there's also a transcript.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at facebook.com/allusionistshow, instagram.com/allusionistshow, youtube.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/allusionistshow, while it still stands. Support the show at theallusionist.org/donate and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you also get behind-the-scenes glimpses of the show, fortnightly livestreams, special perks at live shows, and best of all the Allusioverse Discord community.

    The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks to Anne Pond from the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall for boat information, and to Martin Austwick for editorial help and the original music. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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

    • Wondrium, the online library of lectures, courses, tutorials, documentaries and more. Get 50% off your first three months of Wondrium at wondrium.com/allusionist.• Mint Mobile: cut your cellphone bill to a mere $15 a month at mintmobile.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 a sleek website. 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/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 43 min
    164. Emergency

    164. Emergency

    When is a war not a war? When the British Empire called it an 'emergency' so they didn't have to abide by wartime rules or lose their insurance payouts. Artist and researcher Sim Chi Yin reflects on the Malayan Emergency, a 12-year conflict that doesn't get talked about much now by either side; and historian Charlotte Lydia Riley considers the various reasons why the British opted for the term 'emergency', and why they don't celebrate even when they supposedly won them.

    Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/emergency, where there's also a transcript.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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

    • Wondrium, the online library of lectures, courses, tutorials, documentaries and more. Get 50% off your first three months of Wondrium at wondrium.com/allusionist.• Catan, the endlessly reconfigurable 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 a sleek website. 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/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    163. Rhino Borked Guy

    163. Rhino Borked Guy

    Provoked by current events, we've got three political eponyms for turmoiled times. Get ready for explosives, presidential pigs, Supreme Court scrapping, and wronged rhinos.

    Content note: there is some description of torture about halfway through the episode.

    Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/rhino, where there's also a transcript.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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

    • Dipsea, the app full of short, sexy stories. Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/allusionist.• Mint Mobile: cut your cellphone bill to a mere $15 a month at mintmobile.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 a sleek website. 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/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 36 min
    162. Self-Help

    162. Self-Help

    Self-help is a multibillion dollar genre of books, and Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg of By the Book podcast have lived by the advice of more than eighty of them. They discuss the ways these books use language to get into your brain, the negging and the euphemisms, what can actually be helpful, and why we should be more like dog.

    Content note: we discuss dieting and sizeism, and there are fleeting mentions of rape and abuse. There are also category A and B swears.

    Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/self-help, where there's also a transcript.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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

    • Dipsea, the app full of short, sexy stories. Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/allusionist.• Catan, the endlessly reconfigurable 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 a sleek website. 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/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 39 min
    161. Sentiment

    161. Sentiment

    Empathy and kindness can be noble concepts in themselves, but as terms are thrown around enough to have become buzzwords, and in the process lose some of their meaning and purpose. Audiomakers Sandhya Dirks and Julia Furlan, and academic and podcaster Hannah McGregor, discuss the value and pitfalls of appealing to the emotions.

    Content note: there are mentions of parental death, cancer in adults and babies, and suicide. There are also a few category B swears.

    Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/sentiment, where there's also a transcript.

    The Allusionist's online home is theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at twitter.com/allusionistshow, facebook.com/allusionistshow and instagram.com/allusionistshow.

    The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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

    • Dipsea, the app full of short, sexy stories. Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.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. • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/allusionist. • Squarespace, your one-stop shop for building and running a sleek website. 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/allusionist
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2.7K Ratings

2.7K Ratings

NikoGreenwood ,

Excellent, including the use of all of the language, respectfully

I felt compelled to say after Helen Z mentioned at the start of the episode that someone rated that there were too many swears for their taste. I can respect that opinion while also being of the opinion that while there is some swearing in this show, none of it is gratuitous, and it is all appropriate use of the entire language. The fact that there aren’t airs put on to “clean up” the language is part of why I like this show so much. It’s a podcast about etymology and it’s NOT stuffy and overly snobby. It brings the fascination with words out of the proper classroom treatments and into the everyday living with language. So, to any of you out there who may have read the other review - yes there’s swears, but they’re infrequent and not even particularly rude uses of the no-no words, and she generally gives a heads up at the top of the episode about language and likely triggers. And to you Helen, thank you for being relaxed enough with us, your audience, to not feel the need to “clean up” before you show us around. Really.

eikt12333 ,

Can’t get enough!

I have just finished listening to 161 episode of The Allusionist.

I don’t remember how I was first made aware of Helen Zaltzman and her etymological work on her podcast The Allusionist. It was probably from one of her many guest spots on Buffering the Vampire Slayer, Ologies, or Science Diction. But I do remember when I started listening to The Allusionist. It was this summer when I began a 45 minute to 1 hour and 30 minute train and walking commute. Since then, The Allusionist has also been my campaign for laundry folding, dish washing, and cross country road trips.

I am excited to continue to get a biweekly dose of etymology, history, and philosophy now that I’ve caught up. TL;DR: It’s a great show and I’m hooked!

PodFan032021 ,

If you love language, you’ll love this podcast!

Helen brings such a thoughtful, well-informed perspective to important, interesting, and fun language topics. Have a listen!

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