Throughout the year, the people who appear on the Allusionist tell me a lot of interesting stuff. Not all of which is relevant to the episode they initially appeared in, so I stash it away in preparation for this moment: the annual bonus episode! Get ready for gory 19th century London slang, the rise and fall of superhero capes, the post-WW1 trend for nudism, and more.
Why is gaslighting 'gaslighting'? What do bodily fluids have to do with personality traits? Why does 'cataract' mean a waterfall and an eye condition? And do doctors really say 'Stat!' or is that just in ER?
It's the end-of-2016 bonus edition of the Allusionist, containing some of your etymological requests and extra chat from some of this year's guests
Throughout the year, I've been stockpiling your requests for etymologies, and for the last episode of 2015, here are some answers! Ever wondered about the correct plural of 'octopus', who was the original nemesis, or whether 'picnic' is racist?
There's also a sprinkling of anecdotes there wasn't room for in the show earlier this year. Prepare for Klingon, acid trips, Cliff Richard, and Michael Palin's cock.