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Today, we're dipping into the Allusionist mailbag full of listeners' linguistic requests, with the help of special guest Hrishikesh Hirway.
What is the expression 'beyond the pale' on about? How do you express the absence of feeling? Does 'testify' have anything to do with testicles? Do avocados have anything to do with testicles? How does the phrase "It's all Greek to me" relate to food styling? Can you have a caper with capers? Are sharks misunderstood, etymologically and morally? And finally: where do allusions come from?
The Allusionist live tour is coming to London, Glasgow, Dublin and Bristol in September 2018, and several cities in the US and Canada in October and November. Check theallusionist.org/events for gig listings - more will be added soon!
THANKS TO TODAY'S SPONSORS:
- SQUARESPACE makes it easy for us lazy/incompetent/busy people to build and run our own websites. Use the free trial at squarespace.com/allusion, then if you decide to sign up to their website-designing and hosting services, the offer code ALLUSION will score you a 10% discount off your first purchase of a website or domain.
- BABBEL helps you learn a language at your own pace, with quick fun interactive lessons via tablet, smartphone or desktop. There are fourteen languages to choose from. To get 50% off your first 3 months of Babbel, use the code ALLUSION when you go to babbel.com/allusion.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Hrishikesh Hirway is the mastermind behind Song Exploder and co-mastermind of The West Wing Weekly, fellow Radiotopian podcasts. Hear his music as the One AM Radio and Moors.
- This episode was produced by me and Martin Austwick, who also composes all the music for the show. You can hear his songs under the name Pale Bird.
- Find me online at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.