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1. Allusionist 11: Brunchtime

Allusionist 11: Brunchtime

What does brunch have to do with Lewis Carroll? Fall down the rabbit hole of brunch semantics with Dan Pashman of the Sporkful podcast http://sporkful.com. There's more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/brunch. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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2. Allusionist 4: Detonating the C-Bomb

Allusionist 4: Detonating the C-Bomb

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 at http://tinyurl.com/itunesAllusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of http://Radiotopia.fm for http://PRX.org.

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3. Allusionist 1: Ban The Pun

Allusionist 1: Ban The Pun

In late 2014, China announced it was to ban puns. Helen Zaltzman wishes she could ban puns in her own family. Warning: this episode features some hideous incidences of wordplay. Visit http://theallusionist.org/puns to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.

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4. Allusionist 5: Latin Lives!

Allusionist 5: Latin Lives!

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

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5. Allusionist 2: Bosom Holder

Allusionist 2: Bosom Holder

There are many synonyms for 'underwear'. There are many synonyms for the body parts you keep in your underwear. But there's only one word for 'bra'. Visit http://theallusionist.org to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.

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6. Allusionist 7: Mountweazel

Allusionist 7: Mountweazel

You'd think you could trust dictionaries, but it turns out, they are riddled with LIES. Visit theallusionist.org/mountweazel to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please give us your thoughts about podcasts at surveynerds.com/allusionist The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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7. Allusionist 49: Bonus 2016

Allusionist 49: Bonus 2016

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? To round off 2016, here's the bonus edition of The Allusionist, featuring listeners' etymology requests and extra material from guests who've appeared on the show this year. For links and more information about the episode, visit http://theallusionist.org/bonus2016. The show will return in early February. Meanwhile, catch up on the back catalogue at http://theallusionist.org, and stay in touch at http://facebook.com/allusionistshow and http://twitter.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of http://Radiotopia.fm from http://PRX.org.

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8. Allusionist 6: The Writing On The Wall

Allusionist 6: The Writing On The Wall

Those words on museum walls that you can't be bothered to read? They're more important than you think... Exhibition-maker Rachel Souhami explains why. Visit theallusionist.org/museums 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.

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9. Allusionist 3: Going Viral

Allusionist 3: Going Viral

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.

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10. Allusionist 8: Crosswords

Allusionist 8: Crosswords

Cryptic crosswords: delightful brain exercise, or the infernal taunting of the incomprehensible? Either way, crossword setter John Feetenby explains how they're made and how to solve them. Visit theallusionist.org/crosswords to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please give us your thoughts about podcasts at surveynerds.com/allusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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11. Allusionist 13: Mixed Emojions

Allusionist 13: Mixed Emojions

Emoji allow communication without words. Could emoji be the universal language of the 21st century? Matt Gray and Tom Scott, founders of the emoji-only messaging platform emoj.li, talk through the pitfalls; and History Today's Dr Kate Wiles finds the 500- and 5,000-year-old precedents for emoji. CONTENT WARNING: this episode contains one category B swear word, plus reference to penises growing on trees. There's more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/emoji, including a fine selection of medieval marginalia. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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12. Allusionist 9: The Space Between

Allusionist 9: The Space Between

I know this is a show about words, but forget the words for a moment; look at the spaces between the words. Without the spaces, the words would be nigh incomprehensible. And yet, they're a relatively recent linguistic innovation. Dr Kate Wiles explains how English got its spaces. Visit theallusionist.org/spaces to find out more about this episode. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please give us your thoughts about podcasts at surveynerds.com/allusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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13. Allusionist 10: Election Lexicon

Allusionist 10: Election Lexicon

On the eve of the 2015 General Election in the UK, take a jaunt through the etymology of election-related words. Find out why casting a vote should be more like basketball, and why polling is hairy. There's more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/electionlexicon. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. Also please air your thoughts about podcasts by filling in the Radiotopia survey at surveynerds.com/allusionist. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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14. Allusionist 14: Behave

Allusionist 14: Behave

Sometimes words can become your worst enemy. Clinical psychologist Jane Gregory tells how to defuse their power. There's more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/behave. This episode concerns mental health, and the discussion nudges some topics which may not be comfortable for everybody. So if you have concerns, please sit this one out, and return in two weeks for the next Allusionist. Stay in touch! Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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15. Allusionist 12: Pride

Allusionist 12: Pride

"The poison is shame. The antidote is pride." It’s June; the President of the USA has officially designated it LGBT Pride Month, and there’ll be Pride events around the world. But how did the word ‘pride’ came to be the banner word for demonstrations and celebrations of LGBT rights and culture? There's more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/pride. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. This episode was produced by me and Eleanor McDowall of Falling Tree, with help from Peregrine Andrews. The music is by Martin Austwick. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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16. Allusionist 22: Vocables

Allusionist 22: Vocables

La la la, dum di di dum, a wop bop a loo bop a wop bom bom - why are songs riddled with non-words masquerading as words? Hrishikesh Hirway from Song Exploder and songwriter Tony Hazzard explain. Read more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/vocables. Say hello at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. Find Song Exploder at http://songexploder.net. The Allusionist is a proud member of http://Radiotopia.fm for http://PRX.org. Radiotopia needs your support. Become a donor at http://on.prx.org/radiotopia-forever.

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17. Allusionist 24: Spill Your Guts

Allusionist 24: Spill Your Guts

It's cathartic; it's useful historical records; 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.

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18. Allusionist 15: Step Away

Allusionist 15: Step Away

'Step-', as in stepparents or stepchildren, originated in grief. Family structures have evolved, but are stepmothers now so tainted by fairytale associations with the word 'wicked' that we need new terminology? Lore's Aaron Mahnke stops by to describe the lovelessness, literary tropes and life expectancy around 'step-'. There is more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/step. There will also be a live discussion about it at http://Spoken.am/allusionist/step-away on 4th August, 8pm UK time, 3pm ET, 12pm PT; do drop by, and/or catch up afterwards. Share your feelings about steprelations at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org.

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19. Allusionist 23: Criminallusionist

Allusionist 23: Criminallusionist

Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer from the podcast Criminal stop by to talk about the linguistic challenges of crime reporting. They also share their episode 'Pants on Fire', about lying. It's an extremely useful handbook if you fancy becoming either a human polygraph, or an excellent liar. Radiotopia needs your support. Become a donor at http://on.prx.org/radiotopia-forever. Find Criminal at http://thisiscriminal.com. Read more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/criminallusionist. 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.

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20. Allusionist 30: US Election Lexicon

Allusionist 30: US Election Lexicon

The 2016 US election isn't going away anytime soon, so let's seek refuge in etymology. Consider the linguistically appropriate age of a senator, and whether Congress should get sexy. And we revisit the UK Election Lexicon - http://theallusionist.com/electionlexicon - for the origin of words like ‘campaign’, ‘ballot’, ‘democracy’, ‘poll’, ‘debate’ and ‘argue’. There's more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/us-electionlexicon. Tweet @allusionistshow, and convene at facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia.fm for PRX.org. Spot the Radiotopians in this episode.

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