Cover image of The Allusionist
(2216)

Rank #47 in Arts category

Arts

The Allusionist

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #47 in Arts category

Arts
Read more

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

Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

2216 Ratings
Average Ratings
1892
234
32
31
27

One of the best podcasts, great topics and great host

By Markb3001 - May 28 2020
Read more
This is one of my regular go-to podcasts, very well done, super entertaining and has a great host.

Choose This

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

iTunes Ratings

2216 Ratings
Average Ratings
1892
234
32
31
27

One of the best podcasts, great topics and great host

By Markb3001 - May 28 2020
Read more
This is one of my regular go-to podcasts, very well done, super entertaining and has a great host.

Choose This

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

The Allusionist

Latest release on Jul 03, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: 92. To Err Is Human

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #2: 76. Across the Pond

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #3: 4. Detonating the C-Bomb

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #4: 109. East West

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #5: 108. Enjoy!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #6: 3. Going Viral

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #7: 63. Evolution of Accents

Podcast cover
Read more

“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

Rank #8: 83. Yes, As In

Podcast cover
Read more

“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

Rank #9: 72. Hey

Podcast cover
Read more

“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

Rank #10: 95. Verisimilitude

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #11: 110. Engraving part 1: Epitaph

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #12: 38. Small Talk

Podcast cover
Read more

“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

Rank #13: 33. Please

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #14: 55. Namaste

Podcast cover
Read more

“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

Rank #15: 50. Under the Covers – part I

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #16: 93. Gossip

Podcast cover
Read more

‘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

Rank #17: 74. Take A Swear Pill

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #18: 24. Spill Your Guts

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #19: 5. Latin Lives!

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #20: 39. Generation What?

Podcast cover
Read more

Which are you: Millennial, Generation X, Baby Boomer, Silent Generation, an impressively young-looking Arthurian Generation? Or are you an individual who refuses to be labelled? Demographer Neil Howe, author Miranda Sawyer and Megan Tan, the host of Millennial podcast, consider whether the generational names are useful or reductive. Or both.

Read more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/generation-what. Seek me out at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow.

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

Jul 13 2016

15mins

Play