Hi! The Allusionist live show No Title is on in London next weekend, and coming to the USA next month.
Check theallusionist.org/events for listings.
APPLE PODCASTS • RSS • SPOTIFY • RADIOPUBLIC • GOOGLE • MP3
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.
The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/foood.
Listen to the other Food Season episodes of the Allusionist and for dessert, check out Nancy’s previous appearance on the Brand It episode. Also, to hear why turkeys are called turkeys, attempt the 2018 Quiz.
Nancy writes about Wyngz, bac’n and cheez…
…and in a new piece, the m’e’a’t-words. “All of these names are based on an assumption that meat-words are the default and plant-based versions can only aspire to that standard. In most cases, though, the ‘meat-words’ are meaty only from custom, not etymology or history.”
From previous guest Susie Dent, some fascinating food-related etymologies: ‘a ‘companion’ was someone with (com) whom you broke bread (pane), while a ‘mate’ was a friend at your table – the word is a sibling of ‘meat’. A ‘parasite’, on the other hand, was one who ‘sat beside’ you at the table and pinched your scran’.
Historic pies, AKA ‘bake-metes’. Pretty!
Hamburger history - it’s complicated!
The secret of making a steak from cultured meat? ‘Scaffold development’. Mmmmm.
DiGiorno’s short answer about ‘Wyngz’, GIMME THE LONG ANSWER DAMMIT.
It’s a very different kind of meat, but check out the beautiful podcast Meat by Jonathan Zenti.
And, while you’re at it, listen to the very funny Beef and Dairy Network by Benjamin Partridge. I read the word ‘beef’ so many times while researching the Salisbury steak, I began to feel queasy just to look at it, so I don’t know how he copes.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
Nancy Friedman is a name developer and branding consultant - find out about her work at wordworking.com - and she writes very interesting pieces about brands and words at nancyfriedman.typepad.com and on Medium. She’s @fritinancy on Twitter and Instagram.
This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick makes the music that you hear in every episode. Download his songs at palebirdmusic.com and listen to his new podcast Year of the Bird about the songs he writes.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
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.