Artwork for The Allusionist

The Allusionist

Helen Zaltzman

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman.

PublishesWeeklyEpisodes212Founded9 years ago
Number of ListenersCategories
ArtsSociety & Culture

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Artwork for The Allusionist

Latest Episodes

This episode, and the next couple of episodes, are about word games! Today, Joshua Blackburn recounts how his sons' uninspiring English homework led to him inventing the language quiz game League of the Lexicon; and Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalıoğlu... more

6 days ago

The word 'hypochondria' has travelled from meaning physical ailments in a particular region of your body, to ones that are only in your mind. It has been in fashion, and thoroughly out; it has been subject to a range of treatments; it has been lucrat... more

22 days ago

"It's quite a big undertaking going through every named feature in the whole solar system and trying to find out who that person was." more

a month ago

This is the Tranquillusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, soothe your brain by saying a load of words that don’t really mean very much, to give you an emotional break by temporarily supplanting your interior monologue with something you can benignly... more

2 months ago


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4.8 out of 5 stars from 5.8k ratings
  • Hypochondria

    There is a more accurate word for health anxiety. I first came across VALETUDINARIAN in a Victorian novel and have come across it the odd time in other 19 century writing. it perfectly describes someone in frail health who has legitimate concerns that are not related to emotional disfunction.

    Apple Podcasts
    Tangled garden
    Canada18 days ago
  • Awesome podcast, mixing humor with knowledge.

    Podcast Addict
    Jan de wandelaar
    21 days ago
  • I absolutely love Helen and The Allusionist podcast.

    Thanks for years of great listening, Helen! Love the show.

    Apple Podcasts
    Mr. Music Head
    United Statesa month ago
  • Insightful and geeky vignettes on language

    Ostensibly about language, The Allusionist visits all the weird and wonderful ways that language intersects with people’s lives. It covers topics that other language podcasts don’t, often topics that are too obscure or controversial for other podcasts. Feel-good and comfy, Helen’s podcast has been my favourite for years and I’ve made an effort to see her live shows when she comes to my country.

    Apple Podcasts
    Australiaa month ago
  • Brain gains!

    This podcast has made me smarter, and more aware of the world around me. Language is always a work in progress, moving and changing with the times. Finding out what shaped it in the past and what’s redefining it now is a blast.

    Apple Podcasts
    United Statesa month ago

Chart Rankings

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#59 United States/Arts
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#31 Canada/Arts
Apple Podcasts
#36 United Kingdom/Arts
Apple Podcasts
#58 Australia/Arts
Apple Podcasts
#193 Germany/Arts
Apple Podcasts
#14 New Zealand/Arts


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The Allusionist launched 9 years ago and published 212 episodes to date. You can find more information about this podcast including rankings, audience demographics and engagement in our podcast database.

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