113. Zaltzology

113. Zaltzology

By Helen Zaltzman

The Allusionist

Friday, 24 January

Today’s episode is something a bit different to usual. A few months ago, I was a guest on the podcast Ologies, a terrific show where the very funny and delightful and curious Alie Ward interviews an ologist of some kind - bisonologist (ologist of bisons), ludologist (video games), corvid thanatology (crow funerals!).

Alie interviewed me as an etymologist (I’m not a qualified etymologist, mind; just an enthusiast), and we cover etymologies of words including ‘buxom’, ‘mediocre’, ‘coccyx’, ‘lacuna’, bust some etymological myths, discuss some broader attitudes towards language, and wonder why so many people hate the word ‘moist’. Here’s some of our conversation; you can hear the full-length version on Ologies.

There are a couple of swears in it, including what Alie calls ‘the Swiss Army Knife of cussing’.

Visit theallusionist.org/zaltzology for more about this episode, and hear the full-length version of the conversation with Alie on Ologies alieward.com/ologies/etymology.

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