To mark the 100th episode of the Allusionist, here’s a celebratory parade of language-related facts.Read More
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.Read More
There are two main places in the world where the Welsh language is spoken: Wales, and the Chubut Province in Patagonia. How did this ancient language take root in rural Argentina, 12,000 miles away from its home base?Read More
It's a year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. And in that year, he's caused a lot of changes in the job of constitutional law professor Elizabeth Joh of What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law podcast - in particular, one verb is now off limits.
Plus, Paul Anthony Jones, aka etymologist extraordinaire Haggard Hawks, describes how politicians' names work their way into our vocabularies.
CONTENT NOTE: this episode contains references to the 45th president of the USA. I know a lot of you listen to The Allusionist for a little escape from politics and current affairs, so let me reassure you that there is not much modern politics in the episode; it’s mostly about history and interesting word facts.Read More
The 2016 US election isn't going away anytime soon, so let's seek refuge in etymology, as we did before in the first Election Lexicon.
Bonus fun: spot the Radiotopian cameos.
- Oxford Dictionaries have had enough of these political terms, and perhaps so have you.
- Lo, here's a short history of filibustering.
- The linguistics of mass persuasion: how politicians make ‘fetch’ happen.
- And in case you needed to know about the sex lives of politicians during primaries, the escorts they hire are here to tell you.
- Here's the original Election Lexicon episode.
If you want podcasts about the US Election, I've heard good things about FiveThirtyEight, Bandwagon, Presidential, Slate's Political Gabfest, Candidate Confessional, Left, Right & Centre, The Pollsters, Whistlestop... And there's this episode from our pals Mortified.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK, AFTER THESE MESSAGES:
1. Our generous benefactors Squarespace.com want to help you realise your online dreams in the form of beautiful, well-designed websites. Start your free trial today at squarespace.com/allusion; then to get 10% off for the first year, plus a domain thrown in, use the code ALLUSION at checkout.
2. Slack.com is messaging for teams, but also so much more, especially if you're a sadsack lone home-worker like me. It's the email and IM trouncer, and the engine behind Radiotopia's comms. You can use Slack for free for as long as you want; but if you visit slack.com/allusionist and create a new team, you'll receive $100 in credit to use if you ever upgrade to a paid plan with additional features.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- You heard from Radiotopisiblings Jonathan Mitchell from The Truth; Benjamen Walker from Theory of Everything; Lauren Spohrer from Criminal; Hrishikesh Hirway from Song Exploder; Nick van der Kolk from Love + Radio; and Avery Trufelman and Katie Mingle from 99% Invisible.
- This episode was produced by Matt Hill and me. The theme tune is by Martin Austwick.
- Say hello at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman, regardless of on which shoulder you sport your parrot.
Meet you back here in a fortnight.
PS Thanks to listener Matt for designing this bumper sticker after hearing the episode. We've got a chance of winning this, people...
On the eve of the 2015 General Election in the UK, join me for a jaunt through the etymology of election-related words.
Find out why casting a vote should be more like basketball, how debating could descend into fisticuffs, and why polling is hairy.
- Producer Matt and I went out in a high wind with a megaphone to record at the place for shouting about politics through a megaphone: Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. Here's a brief history of Speakers' Corner, where people have been blowing high wind through megaphones for more than a century.
- For those who insist upon continuing to do their campaigning indoors, here's a potted history of lobbying in the US.
- I only briefly mentioned the origins of the Tories' name: it has a very knotty history. Read more about that here.
- Swingometer fans! Thanks to the BBC, here're some archive videos and pictures of swingometers through history.
- Here is the transcript of this episode.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
This episode is sponsored by Tasting Room. To order the Tasting Room starter pack of wine samples for the special price of $6.95, visit tastingroom.com/allusionist. Unfortunately this offer is only open to listeners in the USA, so we Brits will have to find some other booze to get us through the election.
You've got until 15th May to voice your opinions about podcasts (and be in with a chance to win posh Tivoli headphones) in the Radiotopia listener survey. Fill it out at surveynerds.com/allusionist; thanks very much if you've already done so.
See you in a fortnight, unless etymologocracy wins the day and I'm too drunk on power to make this show.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with megaphone assitance from Matt Hill. Matt tweets as @virtualmatthill and makes numerous podcasts and apps, including Spark London and the Media Podcast. Find more of his work at rethinkdaily.co.uk.
- All the music is by Martin Austwick. Hear more of it at http://thesoundoftheladies.bandcamp.com/.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.