Tranquillusionist: Person In Scene

Tranquillusionist: Person In Scene

By Helen Zaltzman

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 ignore. Note: this is NOT a normal episode of the Allusionist, where you might learn something about language and your brain might be energised. The Tranquillusionist's purpose is to rest your brain and for you to learn nothing.

If you like it, there's a collection of tranquillusionists at, on themes including champion dogs, Australia's big things, gay animals and more. Today: a list of the characters who don't have names in film credits. Find out more, and read the transcript, at

Content note: this episode contains some terminology from the original film credits that I do not endorse, plus one Category B swear and four Category A swears (which I endorse just fine).

Enormous thanks to Jez Burrows for letting me use some 2,700 of these that he had collected for his book And Introducing. Find it and his other work - including his book Dictionary Stories, short stories composed of the example sentences from dictionaries - at

The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear his songs at, and his podcasts Neutrino Watch and Song By Song in the usual podplaces.

Help keep this independent podcast alive by becoming a member of the Allusioverse at; your additional perks include regular livestreams with readings from my dictionaries, inside scoop of the making of every episode, and watchalong parties (lately, weekly gatherings to watch Great Pottery Throwdown) - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community, where I am posting all my best/worst portmanteaus and portmantNOs.

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