Cover image of The Allusionist
(2013)

Rank #35 in Arts category

Arts

The Allusionist

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #35 in Arts category

Arts
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Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman: TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

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Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman: TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

iTunes Ratings

2013 Ratings
Average Ratings
1721
217
28
24
23

Choose This

By Geo_ - Nov 18 2019
Read more
You have thousands of podcast choices. Choose this one. You’ll be glad you did.

Words about Words

By Eddief419 - Nov 06 2019
Read more
One of my favorite educational podcasts, and the editing is amazing!

iTunes Ratings

2013 Ratings
Average Ratings
1721
217
28
24
23

Choose This

By Geo_ - Nov 18 2019
Read more
You have thousands of podcast choices. Choose this one. You’ll be glad you did.

Words about Words

By Eddief419 - Nov 06 2019
Read more
One of my favorite educational podcasts, and the editing is amazing!

Listen to:

Cover image of The Allusionist

The Allusionist

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman: TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

92. To Err Is Human

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If you wince when you hear someone say “a whole nother level”, “hone in on” or “right from the gecko”, here’s some bad news: you might have to get used to it. The English language is full of words and expressions that were mistakes that stuck around. Countdown’s Susie Dent holds our hands and takes us on a tour of misspellings, mishearings, scrambled letters and bear cubs.

In the new Minillusionist at the end of the episode, we’re back on your favourite subject: swearing! And why the blazes are there all these fake acronym etymologies for swears?

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/err.

Follow Susie Dent on Twitter @susie_dent for regular doses of etymology, and to keep up with her writing and tour dates.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In January 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.

Jan 24 2019

18mins

Play

76. Across the Pond

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Pavement/sidewalk; football/soccer; bum bag/fanny pack: we know that the English language is different in the UK and the USA. But why? Linguist Lynne Murphy points out the geographical, cultural and social influences that separate the common language.

Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/across-the-pond.

The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear all the shows at http://radiotopia.fm.

Radiotopia is going on tour! Join us in May at theatres in Atlanta, Durham, DC, Philly, NYC and Boston. Get your tickets at http://radiotopia.fm/live. You can also see the Allusionist live in Australia – http://theallusionist.org/events

Today’s sponsors are Squarespace and Babbel. Start your website at http://squarespace.com/allusion and to get a 10% discount off your first purchase of a website or domain, use the code ALLUSION.

Learn a new language with Babbel and get 50% off your first 3 months: use the code ALLUSION when you go to http://babbel.com/allusion.

Apr 07 2018

23mins

Play

4. Detonating the C-Bomb

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WARNING: this episode contains lots of swearing and words which some of you may find offensive. If, however, you love offensive words, you will enjoy this episode, which is all about how the C-word doesn’t deserve to be the pariah of cusses.

Visit http://theallusionist.org/c-bomb to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Subscribe on iTunes http://tinyurl.com/iTunesAllusionist.

The Allusionist is a proud member of http://Radiotopia.fm for http://PRX.org.

Feb 11 2015

16mins

Play

3. Going Viral

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Remember when ‘viral’ used to only mean something bad, IE something that would make you ill or destroy your computer?

How things have changed. Tom Phillips from Buzzfeed UK explains the language they choose to make content go viral.

Visit http://theallusionist.org/viral to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of http://Radiotopia.fm for http://PRX.org.

Jan 28 2015

14mins

Play

63. Evolution of Accents

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“Accent is identity. It’s a way of encoding and signaling – almost completely at an unconscious level for most people – who they feel like they are, who they want to be seen as, what group they feel like they belong to.” The podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz investigates how accents have evolved in the UK and USA.

Hear Twenty Thousand Hertz at http://20k.org and find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/evolution-of-accents.

Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Find all our podcasts at http://radiotopia.fm

Sep 15 2017

24mins

Play

72. Hey

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“Hey.”

“Going to the supermarket, want me to get you anything?”

“Puppies or ice cream?”

“What’s your glasses prescription?”

“I wanna ***** your *********.”

If you’ve used a dating app, maybe you’ve received one of the above messages from a stranger, or sent them. Striking up an interaction with someone is a tricky business. Why Oh Why and Longest Shortest Time host Andrea Silenzi opens up her phone to analyse the kinds of opening messages people send on dating apps, and how easily they can land badly.

Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/hey, and hear Andrea hosting The Longest Shortest Time podcast on your podblasters of choice.

Content note: this episode contains a couple of instances of Adult Language and references to Adult Behaviours.

Today’s sponsors are Squarespace – try it out at http://squarespace.com, and when you sign up, use the offer code ALLUSION – and Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller which you can hear on all the podcatchers and at https://www.inflectionpointradio.org.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear them all at http://radiotopia.fm.

The show’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

Feb 09 2018

20mins

Play

105. F'ood

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When is cheese not cheese, or crab not crab? When it’s spelled cheez or krab or even ch’eese or cra’b… Novelty spellings for foods-that-aren’t-made-out-of-the-thing-they-sound-like-they’re-made-out-of go back a pretty long way - ‘cheez’ was THE cheese-like substance of the 1920s - but right now, with plant-based foods on the rise, we’re seeing more of them. Branding consultant and name developer Nancy Friedman casts her expert glance over the apostrophes and deliberate misspellings on foodstuffs; and vegan restaurant owner Melanie Boudens recounts how, this summer, the words ‘cheddar cheese’ on her menu landed her in trouble.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/foood.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is playing in London in September and in the US from October. For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Also! I’m making a NEW PODCAST! Veronica Mars Investigations, wherein Jenny Owen Youngs (of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and I investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning. Find Veronica Mars Investigations in your podcast-getting app of choice, and at VMIpod on the social medias and .com.

In September 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text **ALLUSIONIST **to 484848 to try it for free.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Sep 03 2019

31mins

Play

83. Yes, As In

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“Really? As in the animal/foodstuff/music genre?”

“Is that a stripper name?”

“What were your parents thinking?”

When your name is a word that is more usually a noun or adjective than a human moniker, you hear the same questions a lot. But there’s a story in every name, and yours is probably a more interesting story than most.

Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/nounnames. WARNING: there are a few swears in it. (But none of the people have swear names, thankfully.)

The Allusionist live tour comes to the US, Canada, Britain and Ireland during autumn 2018: show listings are at http://theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear all the shows at http://radiotopia.fm.

Thanks to Babbel for sponsoring this episode. Try their language-learning courses for free at babbel.com.

Aug 26 2018

26mins

Play

38. Small Talk

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“How are you?”

“Oh, fine – and you?”

“Yeah, not bad. Nice day today, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it was a bit chilly this morning, but now the sun’s come out…” [Continue until the lift arrives, or until the end of time.]

Small talk is usually not conveying much vital information, nor is it especially interesting. But beneath that comfort blanket of tedium lies a valuable social function.

There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/smalltalk. Chitchat with me at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm from PRX.org.

Jun 25 2016

12mins

Play

95. Verisimilitude

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When you’re watching a fantasy or science fiction show, and the characters are speaking a language that does not exist in this world but sounds like it could - that doesn’t happen by accident, or improvisation. A lot - a LOT! - of work goes into inventing new languages that sound real. Conlanger David Peterson talks about how he created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/verisimilitude.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In March 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.
Molekule, a complete reinvention of the air purifier. For $75 off your first order, use the discount code ALLUSIONIST at the checkout at molekule.com.

Mar 11 2019

28mins

Play

33. Please

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There’s an ocean between Britain and the USA, but an even wider division between each country’s use of a particular word: ‘please’.

Linguists Lynne Murphy and Rachele De Felice explain how one nation’s obsequiousness is another nation’s obnoxiousness.

There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/please. Please greet me at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm from PRX.org. Radiotopia is having its first ever live show, featuring many of the shows performing new stories at the theatre at Ace Hotel, Los Angeles, 4th May 2016. It’ll be excellent! Get your tickets at http://radiotopia.fm/ace.

Apr 01 2016

14mins

Play

55. Namaste

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“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder wants people to stop saying ‘namaste’ after a yoga session.

There’s more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/namaste.

Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org. Join us for Radiotopia’s live tour of west coast cities this May – http://radiotopia.fm/live.

May 05 2017

17mins

Play

101. Two Or More

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Oysters, fragrances, canoeing, space stations, God, hats, and of course people - the word ‘bisexual’ has described a great deal of different things, with different meanings, in its fairly short existence. And that whole time, it has had a pretty bumpy ride.

Mark Wilkinson studied 70 years of Times newspapers to trace how the British mainstream press used the term.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/bisexual.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In June 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
•  Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Jun 26 2019

26mins

Play

50. Under the Covers – part I

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Escape into the loving embrace of a romance novel – although don’t think you’ll be able to escape gender politics while you’re in there. Bea and Leah Koch, proprietors of America’s sole romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, consider the genre; and publisher Lisa Milton scrolls through the 109-year history of the imprint that epitomises romance novels, Mills & Boon.

For more information about this episode, visit http://theallusionist.org/covers-i.

Find me at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm from PRX.org.

Feb 08 2017

17mins

Play

93. Gossip

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‘Idle’, ‘trivial’, ‘scurrilous’: the word ‘gossip’ is often accompanied by uncomplimentary adjectives. But don’t dismiss it; from childbirth to Hollywood to political analysis to whisper networks, gossip may be more useful and serious than you realise. Lainey Lui, founder of laineygossip.com, and Buzzfeed News’ senior culture writer (and doctor of celebrity gossip) Anne Helen Petersen explain why.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/gossip.

NB there are a few swears in this episode.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In February 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.

Feb 09 2019

18mins

Play

74. Take A Swear Pill

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CONTENT WARNING: there is swearing in this episode. But the happy news is: swearing is good for you! Dr Emma Byrne, author of Swearing Is Good For You, explains how swearing can be beneficial to your physical health and emotional wellbeing, while Matt Fidler of Very Bad Words podcast gives some tips to ensure you swear properly to optimise the positive effects.

Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/swear-pill.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear them all at http://radiotopia.fm, and see several of us perform live in May on the Radiotopia East Coast Tour. Tickets are on sale now at http://radiotopia.fm/live.

Today’s sponsors are:

i. Squarespace: start building your website at http://squarespace.com, and when you sign up, use the offer code ALLUSION for 10% off your first purchase of your website or domain.

ii. Babbel, the world’s no.1 selling language learning app. To get 50% off your first 3 months of learning one of 14 languages, go to http://babbel.com/allusion and use the code ALLUSION.

The show’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

Mar 09 2018

25mins

Play

102. New Rules

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I don’t know exactly when or where, but at some point in the past few years, I stopped putting punctuation at the end of sentences. Why? The internet made me do it! Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch, cohost of Lingthusiasm podcast and the author of the new book Because Internet, explains how the internet changes the rules of language.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/new-rules.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. And it’s our annual survey season! Could you do me a big ole favour and spend a few minutes filling in the Survlusionist at surveynerds.com/allusionist? I will, of course, be using your opinions and information for nothing but the most nefarious purposes (like, er, trying to make the show better for you).

In July 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
Remember Reading, a new family podcast from HarperCollins about classic children’s books. Find it on your podcast apps and at RememberReading.com.

Jul 14 2019

18mins

Play

5. Latin Lives!

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Every week since September 1989, a radio station in Finland has broadcast a weekly news bulletin…in Latin.

WHY?

Let’s find out!

Visit theallusionist.org/latin to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

Feb 25 2015

11mins

Play

84. Trammels

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Why would you write books or poems or plays with only one vowel? Or in palindromes? Or only using the example sentences in dictionaries? Sometimes you need to force yourself to jump a few hurdles (and perhaps the rest of the obstacle course) before your creativity will be unleashed.

Find more about this episode at theallusionist.org/trammels. Jez Burrows is the author of the book Dictionary Stories, which is out now; find his work at jezburrows.com. Ross Sutherland makes the podcast Imaginary Advice; find him at rosssutherland.co.uk.

The Allusionist live tour comes to the US, Canada, Britain and Ireland during autumn 2018: show listings are at http://theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear all the shows at http://radiotopia.fm.

Thanks to today’s sponsors:

SQUARESPACE. Design your website at squarespace.com/allusion, and use the offer code ALLUSION to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

BOMBAS. Shop for expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and save 20% by entering the offer ALLUSIONIST in the checkout code space.

Sep 08 2018

19mins

Play

24. Spill Your Guts

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It’s cathartic; it’s a useful historical record; and it might help you behave better on public transport. Neil Katcher and Dave Nadelberg from Mortified discuss the art and practice of keeping a diary.

Find the Mortified podcast, stage shows, documentary, TV series and books at http://getmortified.com.

Roman Mars also stops by to talk about the Radiotopia fundraiser. To support the collective, become a donor at http://on.prx.org/radiotopia-forever.

Read more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/diaries. Say hello at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

The Allusionist is a proud member of http://Radiotopia.fm for http://PRX.org.

Nov 04 2015

17mins

Play

110. Engraving part 1

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When Dave Nadelberg of Mortified used to visit his mother’s grave, he would look around at the nearby gravestones and see similar - or even the exact same - epitaphs for lots of different people. And it made him curious: who were these people, really? What were their personalities, what happened in their lives? And didn’t they deserve something more meaningful, more personal, than these bland and repetitive epitaphs? So when Dave’s father died a few years later, Dave was determined to choose better words to represent him in perpetuity.

Go to theallusionist.org/epitaph to read more about this episode and find a transcript.

Dave Nadelberg is the founder of Mortified: find the podcast, live events, books, TV series and documentary at getmortified.com.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is on tour in North America - for all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Molekule air purification. For 10% off your first air purifier order, visit molekule.com and enter the code ALLUSIONIST10 at checkout.
BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Nov 26 2019

27mins

Play

109. East West

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On 9 November 1989, the demolition of the Berlin Wall began. Within a year, Germany was unified. East Germany dissolved and was incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany, took on its currency and its rules - and its lexicon. Both West and East Germany had already been speaking German, of course; but there were differences, from the years of very concerted separation, the attempts at isolating East Germany from what was considered Western culture and capitalism, and the specifically East German concepts that had their own vocabulary. What was that vocabulary, and where did it go?

Go to theallusionist.org/eastwest to find out more about this episode and the people who appear on it.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is on tour in North America - for all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Molekule air purification. For 10% off your first air purifier order, visit molekule.com and enter the code ALLUSIONIST10 at checkout.
BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Nov 14 2019

28mins

Play

108. Enjoy!

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In the last Food Season episode of the current batch, we get into the language of restaurant service - specifically those terms that give some of us fiery indigestion, like “Enjoy!” or “Are you still working on that?” Restaurant psychologist Stephani Robson and former server Sara Brooke Curtis explain how what servers say is affected by such things as restaurant furniture, tipping, the need to turn a table around quickly for the next diners, and customer moods and caprices.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/enjoy.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is on tour in North America - come to see us! For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Also! I’m making a NEW PODCAST! Veronica Mars Investigations, wherein Jenny Owen Youngs (of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and I investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning. Find Veronica Mars Investigations in your podcast-getting app of choice, and at VMIpod on the social medias and VMIpod.com.

This month, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
Freshbooks accounting software for small businesses. Get started at FreshBooks.com/BUYNOW.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Oct 30 2019

23mins

Play

107. Apples

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Late 2019 will see the biggest apple launch of our lifetimes. 22 years in the making, ripening on millions of trees into picture-perfect redness, here comes the WA38, more snazzily known as the Cosmic Crisp. The name was the result of a year of focus groups, taste tests and word associations - a far cry from when apples were named after whichever end of a cat they resembled.

This episode is a collaboration with The Sporkful podcast, where we have released companion episodes about apples: hear us talking about the naming of apples on this episode of the Allusionist, and on their episode ‘A New Apple Is Born’ we get into the particulars of how new apples are begotten. Find The Sporkful on your podcatchers and at thesporkful.com.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/apples.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is on tour in North America - come to see us! For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Also! I’m making a NEW PODCAST! Veronica Mars Investigations, wherein Jenny Owen Youngs (of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and I investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning. Find Veronica Mars Investigations in your podcast-getting app of choice, and at VMIpod on the social medias and VMIpod.com.

In October 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
BetterHelp online counselling. Get started at betterhelp.com/allusionist, and use the code ALLUSIONIST for 10% off your first month.
Freshbooks accounting software for small businesses. Get 60% off a Lite, Plus or Premium plan for 6 months when you buy before 23rd October 2019. Get started at FreshBooks.com/BUYNOW.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try it for free.
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Oct 09 2019

27mins

Play

106. Typo Demom

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Ever misspelled a word or committed a typo? It wasn’t your fault; you were demonically possessed. Ian Chillag from Everything is Alive podcast introduces us to Titivillus, the typo demon.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/typo-demon.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is heading off on a tour of North America from October. For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Also! I’m making a NEW PODCAST! Veronica Mars Investigations, wherein Jenny Owen Youngs (of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and I investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning. Find Veronica Mars Investigations in your podcast-getting app of choice, and at VMIpod on the social medias and VMIpod.com.

In September 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text **ALLUSIONIST **to 484848 to try it for free.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Sep 15 2019

20mins

Play

105. F'ood

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When is cheese not cheese, or crab not crab? When it’s spelled cheez or krab or even ch’eese or cra’b… Novelty spellings for foods-that-aren’t-made-out-of-the-thing-they-sound-like-they’re-made-out-of go back a pretty long way - ‘cheez’ was THE cheese-like substance of the 1920s - but right now, with plant-based foods on the rise, we’re seeing more of them. Branding consultant and name developer Nancy Friedman casts her expert glance over the apostrophes and deliberate misspellings on foodstuffs; and vegan restaurant owner Melanie Boudens recounts how, this summer, the words ‘cheddar cheese’ on her menu landed her in trouble.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/foood.

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

The Allusionist live show No Title is playing in London in September and in the US from October. For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Also! I’m making a NEW PODCAST! Veronica Mars Investigations, wherein Jenny Owen Youngs (of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and I investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning. Find Veronica Mars Investigations in your podcast-getting app of choice, and at VMIpod on the social medias and .com.

In September 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text **ALLUSIONIST **to 484848 to try it for free.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Sep 03 2019

31mins

Play

104. Words into Food

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It’s Food Season at the Allusionist. Last episode we learned all about compiling recipes, turning food into words. This time, we meet someone who turns words into food - no, she doesn’t make Alphabetti Spaghetti. When Kate Young of the Little Library Cafe spots a foodstuff or a feast in a novel, she finds ways to cook it in reality, whether it’s delicious (Babette’s Feast), evil (Edmund’s Turkish delight in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) or poisonous (the crab and avocado in The Bell Jar).

Find out more at theallusionist.org/words-into-food.

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

The Allusionist live show is coming to London in September. For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Also! I’m making a NEW PODCAST! Veronica Mars Investigations, wherein Jenny Owen Youngs (of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast) and I investigate every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning. Find Veronica Mars Investigations in your podcast-getting app of choice, and at VMIpod on the social medias and .com.

In August 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text **ALLUSIONIST **to 484848 to try it for free.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Aug 17 2019

16mins

Play

103. Food Into Words

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When recipe writing is done well, the skill and effort involved might not be evident. But explaining the different steps clearly so that people of varying culinary abilities and equipment can cook it, and indeed want to make it, and translating flavour and physical actions and sensory experiences into words - all that takes work. Recipe writers MiMi Aye and Felicity Cloake and cookbook editor Rachel Greenhaus consider the verbal ingredients of a well-written recipe.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/food-into-words.

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

The Allusionist live show is coming to London in September. For all event listings, visit theallusionist.org/events.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

In August 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the language-learning app that will help you speak a new language with confidence. Visit babbel.com to find out more, and text **ALLUSIONIST **to 484848 to try it for free.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Aug 05 2019

24mins

Play

102. New Rules

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I don’t know exactly when or where, but at some point in the past few years, I stopped putting punctuation at the end of sentences. Why? The internet made me do it! Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch, cohost of Lingthusiasm podcast and the author of the new book Because Internet, explains how the internet changes the rules of language.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/new-rules.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. And it’s our annual survey season! Could you do me a big ole favour and spend a few minutes filling in the Survlusionist at surveynerds.com/allusionist? I will, of course, be using your opinions and information for nothing but the most nefarious purposes (like, er, trying to make the show better for you).

In July 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
Remember Reading, a new family podcast from HarperCollins about classic children’s books. Find it on your podcast apps and at RememberReading.com.

Jul 14 2019

18mins

Play

101. Two Or More

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Oysters, fragrances, canoeing, space stations, God, hats, and of course people - the word ‘bisexual’ has described a great deal of different things, with different meanings, in its fairly short existence. And that whole time, it has had a pretty bumpy ride.

Mark Wilkinson studied 70 years of Times newspapers to trace how the British mainstream press used the term.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/bisexual.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In June 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
•  Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Jun 26 2019

26mins

Play

56+12. Joins & Pride

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To celebrate Pride Month, I’m playing two of the Allusionist episodes that have stuck with me the most during the show’s existence.

The first is Joins. You listeners talk about your particular experiences in your trans bodies, dealing with the available vocabulary for sex and the associated body parts.

(Content note: the episode contains language pertaining to sex and the associated body parts.)

Second is Pride: the story of how that word was chosen in 1970 for LGBTQ Pride events.

Find out more at theallusionist.org/joins-pride-rerun.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In June 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
•  Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

Jun 07 2019

27mins

Play

100. The Hundredth

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To mark the 100th* episode of the Allusionist, here’s a celebratory parade of language-related facts: some of your favourites from the Allusionist back catalogue, some of my favourites from the Allusionist back catalogue, and a load of fresh facts making their Allusionist debut.

*short hundred, not long hundred.

Thanks for listening to the Allusionist! If you’ve liked any of the 100 episodes, tell someone else about it.

Content note: this episode contains swears.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/hundredth.

The Allusionist live tour of the new show, No Title, has landed in Australia! Get your tickets for Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin from theallusionist.org/events.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In May 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
Beer52, the craft beer discovery club. Each month they’ll deliver to you eight different craft beers, PLUS a snack, PLUS a copy of the award-winning Ferment magazine. If you’re in the UK, Beer52 will give you your first case for free; you just need to pay the £5.95 postage. Claim your free case today at beer52.com/allusionist.
Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.

May 27 2019

29mins

Play

99. Polari

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When there were no safe spaces to be gay, Polari allowed gay men to identify and communicate with each other, and to keep things secret from outsiders. Professor Paul Baker, author of the Polari dictionary and the new book Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language, explains how Polari emerged from criminal cant and London’s theatres and docks to be used a code language for gay men in the oppressive 1950s - and then, not long after, it entered the slang lexicons of the general public, via popular sketch comedy and the mouth of an annoyed princess.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/polari.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is touring in New Zealand and Australia. We’ve added extra shows in Christchurch and Melbourne, and will also be on in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. Leg it to theallusionist.org/events to get tickets.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In May 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
• Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
• Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
• Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free. Elsewhere? Check out the courses at babbel.com and on the Babbel app.
Beer52, the craft beer discovery club. Each month they’ll deliver to you eight different craft beers, PLUS a snack, PLUS a copy of the award-winning Ferment magazine. If you’re in the UK, Beer52 will give you your first case for free; you just need to pay the £5.95 postage. Claim your free case today at beer52.com/allusionist.

May 12 2019

31mins

Play

98. Alter Ego

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Today: three pieces about alter egos, when your name - the words by which the world knows you - is replaced by another for particular purposes, such as competing in roller derby, writing popular but disreputable detective novels, or being legally anonymous, unidentified, or fake.

NB There is one strong swear in this episode.

Find out more about this episode and the people and facts in it at theallusionist.org/alter-ego.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is touring in New Zealand and Australia. We’ve added extra shows in Wellington and Christchurch; Melbourne already sold out; so rush to theallusionist.org/events to get tickets for Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In April 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free.

Apr 27 2019

28mins

Play

97. The Future is Now?

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“There are two ways to say ‘The future is now’: you can say it optimistically, like, ‘The future is now! Isn't that cool?’ Or you could be like, ‘The future is now, and we're totally screwed.’” Rose Eveleth, of the future-envisioning podcast Flash Forward, tracks the past and present of one of her favourite phrases.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/future.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is touring in New Zealand and Australia. Visit theallusionist.org/events for information about venues, dates and tickets for shows in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and a couple more TBA Australian cities.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In April 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
Babbel, the app that teaches you a new language with confidence. If you’re in the USA, text ALLUSIONIST to 484848 to try a Babbel lesson for free.

Apr 11 2019

15mins

Play

96. Trust

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“Trust isn't a brand that you should use. It's a social glue that, when it breaks down, has really huge consequences to our lives.” Trust expert and author Rachel Botsman explains why we need to protect this word that has remained steadfast throughout its existence, but may now be too popular for its own good.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/trust.

The all new Allusionist live show, No Title, is heading to New Zealand! Tickets for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch are on sale now; find out more at theallusionist.org/events. Australia: you’ll be our next stop.

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 a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In March 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Bombas, socks that won’t let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
Molekule, a complete reinvention of the air purifier. For $75 off your first order, use the discount code ALLUSIONIST at the checkout at molekule.com.
American Masters, the PBS podcast featuring new conversations with contemporary artists and cultural figures, along with a mix of previously unreleased interviews from the award-winning documentary film series. Subscribe in your podgatherer of choice.

Mar 26 2019

18mins

Play

95. Verisimilitude

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When you’re watching a fantasy or science fiction show, and the characters are speaking a language that does not exist in this world but sounds like it could - that doesn’t happen by accident, or improvisation. A lot - a LOT! - of work goes into inventing new languages that sound real. Conlanger David Peterson talks about how he created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/verisimilitude.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In March 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.
Molekule, a complete reinvention of the air purifier. For $75 off your first order, use the discount code ALLUSIONIST at the checkout at molekule.com.

Mar 11 2019

28mins

Play

94. Harsh Realm

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On 15 November 1992, the New York Times printed a ‘Lexicon of Grunge’, a list of slang terms from the Seattle music scene. ‘Harsh realm’ = bummer. ‘Wack slacks’ = old ripped jeans. ‘Swingin’ on the flippity-flop’ = hanging out.

Not familiar with any of these? It’s OK, that’s not because you’re a cob nobbler (= loser). They were all made up. By Megan Jasper. Now the CEO of Sub Pop records, she recounts her linguistic prank.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/grungehoax.

NB there are a few swears in this episode.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In February 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.

Feb 22 2019

27mins

Play

93. Gossip

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‘Idle’, ‘trivial’, ‘scurrilous’: the word ‘gossip’ is often accompanied by uncomplimentary adjectives. But don’t dismiss it; from childbirth to Hollywood to political analysis to whisper networks, gossip may be more useful and serious than you realise. Lainey Lui, founder of laineygossip.com, and Buzzfeed News’ senior culture writer (and doctor of celebrity gossip) Anne Helen Petersen explain why.

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/gossip.

NB there are a few swears in this episode.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In February 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.
The Proprioceptive Writing Center. Find out about the upcoming West Coast USA courses in this meditative writing practice at pwriting.org.

Feb 09 2019

18mins

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92. To Err Is Human

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If you wince when you hear someone say “a whole nother level”, “hone in on” or “right from the gecko”, here’s some bad news: you might have to get used to it. The English language is full of words and expressions that were mistakes that stuck around. Countdown’s Susie Dent holds our hands and takes us on a tour of misspellings, mishearings, scrambled letters and bear cubs.

In the new Minillusionist at the end of the episode, we’re back on your favourite subject: swearing! And why the blazes are there all these fake acronym etymologies for swears?

Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/err.

Follow Susie Dent on Twitter @susie_dent for regular doses of etymology, and to keep up with her writing and tour dates.

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

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. Find them all at radiotopia.fm.

In January 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Babbel, the no.1 selling language-learning app in the world. Try it for free at babbel.com or download the Babbel app.

Jan 24 2019

18mins

Play