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The Allusionist

204 EpisodesProduced by Helen ZaltzmanWebsite

Adventures in language with Helen Zaltzman.

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181. Cairns

There's an abiding myth that the landmark dictionaries are the work of one man, in a dusty paper-filled garrett tirelessly working away singlehandedly. But really it took a village: behind every Big Daddy of Lexicography was usually a team of women, keeping the garrett clean, organising the piles of papers, reading through all the citations, doing research, writing definitions, editing, subediting...essentially being lexicographers, without the credit or the pay. Academic Lindsay Rose Russell, author of Women and Dictionary-Making, talks about the roles of women in lexicography: enabling male lexicographers to get the job done, but also making their own dictionaries, and challenging the very paradigms of dictionaries.

Find out more about this episode and the topics therein, and obtain the transcript, at

Become a member of the Allusioverse at and as well as keeping this independent podcast going, you get regular livestreams and watchalong parties - AND to hang out with your fellow Allusionauts in our delightful Discord community.

Our ad partner is Multitude. If you want me to talk lovingly and winningly about your product or thing, sponsor an episode: contact Multitude at This episode is sponsored by:

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