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The Allusionist
Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman: A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at
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Ratings & Reviews
4.8 stars from 4,214 ratings
Simply the best
Absolutely my favorite podcast, thank you for your work, Helen.
hellozoey345 via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 09/27/20
Great podcast
Interesting, thought-provoking and always educational I love the diverse range of content, interviews and references that Helen has on this podcast. Highly recommend
AndyColey via Apple Podcasts · Great Britain · 09/24/20
...And So It Goes...
What was once a fun and entertaining show about words, language and etymology has devolved into a style book for politically correct “Right-think.”
Neal Downe via Apple Podcasts · United States of America · 09/24/20
Recent Episodes
The word for ‘ghostwriter’ in French is a racist slur. How did THAT come about? And what word could French-speakers use instead? Ngofeen Mputubwele and Gregory Warner investigate. This piece originally aired on NPR’s Rough Translation; hear their new season at and on your pod...
Published 09/28/20
In 2014, a seemingly trivial and boring incident at the bank propelled me down a linguistic road via medieval werewolves, Ms Marvel and confusingly inscribed gravestones, to find out why the English language is riddled with all this gender. What’s it FOR? How did it GET there? Will it go AWAY now...
Published 09/14/20
This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, quell anxiety and calm brain frenzies by replacing your interior monologue with words detached from significance. In this case: the list of HGTV original programming, and lawnmower adverts from before I was born. Find this episode and a...
Published 08/28/20
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