Freaky Friday Transcript

CARRIE: Hi and welcome to The Vocal Fries podcast, the podcast about linguistic discrimination.

MEGAN: I’m Megan Figueroa.

CARRIE: And I’m Carrie Gillon. Today we’re talking about language to do with Halloween-y things, scary things, and so not really about linguistic discrimination this time.

MEGAN: No, it’s really not. Although some of the things that I want to talk about bring up the patriarchy and feminism.

CARRIE: Yeah, we can’t escape that.

MEGAN: No, even with our folklores and stuff, it’s in there.

CARRIE: Yeah, this stuff is really old.

MEGAN: Yeah.

CARRIE: That’s why it’s hard to fight!

MEGAN: It is.

CARRIE: Alright, so the first thing we’re going to talk about is the fear of the number 13, or believing that 13 is an unlucky number. This has a name, and I’m gonna pronounce it terribly, and I apologize but: triskaidekaphobia.

MEGAN: That was really good.

CARRIE: Do you know Greek? Although I guess it is still just an English word.

MEGAN: Right?

CARRIE: It means “3 and 10 fear”, literally. The fear of 13. What’s going on with 13, why is it so unlucky, supposedly?

MEGAN: Well, it seems that there is some really old reasons for it. It might be the case that there was disdain for the number because it’s positioned after the number 12, which is considered to be a complete number by neurologists – “neurologists” ha. By numerologists!

CARRIE: A very different kind of people.

MEGAN: Oh my gosh. They’re so different. I don’t know how neurologists feel about the number 12.

CARRIE: I’m sure they’re very neutral about it, for the most part.

MEGAN: So this completeness of 12: like 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules – labors of Hercules?

CARRIE: Oh you don’t know the labors of Hercules?

MEGAN: No, I don’t.

CARRIE: It’s a fun story. He had to go do all things – I don’t remember why – I guess Zeus told him to do these things? I don’t know. I don’t even remember what they were. This is so silly, but Hercules had to go perform manual labor-type things

MEGAN: To prove his godness or something?

CARRIE: He’s a demigod, he’s half-God, half-human. I don’t know don’t remember why he had to do it. But yeah: 12 labors of Hercules.

MEGAN: Okay, that must not have been in the cartoon version.

CARRIE: Wasn’t it?

MEGAN: I don’t know.

CARRIE: I don’t know either. I assumed it was, cuz it’s a huge part of his story.

MEGAN: Probably it is. And then the 12 tribes of Israel, and the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.

CARRIE: Although, there were actually 13, which is maybe one of the reasons why 13 is considered to be unluckiest, because the 13th apostle – Judas – supposedly turned against Jesus. Although there is also a possibility that actually Judas and Jesus were in on it together. Apparently they found a new gospel like 10 years ago, and in that version Judas and come up with this plan together – kind of like Dumbledore dies on purpose.

MEGAN: Oh my gosh, this is a telenovela! I love it! And spoiler alert: Dumbledore died, sorry.

CARRIE: I just assume people know.

MEGAN: I’m kidding.

CARRIE: Another version of this idea that the 13th person showing up as bad is a story of Loki. 12 gods were having a dinner party in Valhalla and then Loki shows up, and Loki’s the god of mischief.

MEGAN: Or Tom Hiddleston.

CARRIE: Swoon.

MEGAN: I know.

CARRIE: So he shows up, and he arranges for the blind God Hodor to shoot and kill Balder, who is the god of joy and gladness. When the god of joy and gladness dies, things get bad. The whole earth gets dark, and everyone mourns. That’s another instance of the 13th person being bad luck, or a bad person.

MEGAN: Another one is in ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12, which, if I were a witch, I don’t think I know 11 other people, so my witch group wouldn’t be that big. The 13th person was believed to be the devil.

CARRIE: Which is kind of awesome, the 13th person – I guess it isn’t there it corporally? I’m not really sure. Or it just shows up later?

MEGAN: Yeah, I don’t know how that works. Do they know they’re the devil, or then they suddenly become the devil?

CARRIE: No no.

MEGAN: Or is the devil summoned?

CARRIE: Yeah, there are 12 people there and then the 13th presence would be the devil. That’s how I understand it.

MEGAN: Okay, assuming that witches summon the devil.

CARRIE: Yeah. Or the devil just shows that anytime 12 witches get together, cuz they’re so evil. I don’t know.

MEGAN: Well, if the devil were male, he wouldn’t like 12 women gathering in one place/ that’s like a.

CARRIE: Well… if you think witches or if you think women are evil, then of course the devil’s gonna like them.

MEGAN: That’s a really good point. And not the point I want to make!

CARRIE: This fear of 13 shows up in all different weird places: architects still to this day – well, not all of them – but some of them still refuse to design buildings that have 13 stairs. They gotta make sure that there’s 12 or 14 instead, or buildings that have a 13th floor. Apparently, more than 80% – I don’t know if this means North America, worldwide or what – but more than 80% of buildings skip 13 if they’re that tall.

MEGAN: I’ve noticed this, and I don’t know if I’m just being a bitch about it, but I’m like, then 14 becomes 13.

CARRIE: Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me at all either. In Vancouver, it’s even worse, because they skip 4 and 24 and 14, because in Cantonese the words for those sound like the word for “death” or some version of death.

MEGAN: Ohhh.

CARRIE: Yeah there’s a lot of missing floors in some of the high-rises in Vancouver.

MEGAN: But that makes more sense to me.


MEGAN: Because the word for it sounds like a thing, so the word not being there.


MEGAN: It seems better than saying “oh, we don’t have the 13th floor”. No, but you really do.

CARRIE: But you still have the fourth floor.

MEGAN: I know… but it’s not written anywhere. I don’t know. But you’re right, that’s the same point of having 13 floors, because people are afraid of them. Alright fine, nothing makes sense. Can I say I would totally stay on the 13th floor.

CARRIE: Yeah me too. I’ve been in the 13th row in an airplane, and I hate flying. I don’t think that you’re more likely to die. If something’s gonna go wrong, it’s gonna go wrong with the whole plane.

MEGAN: That’s true. Unless you’re in the movie Final Destination.

CARRIE: Ah, yeah, I refuse to watch those kinds of movies.

MEGAN: Oh ok.

CARRIE: Apparently also in France, back in the day, I don’t know exactly when, but socialites known as the fourteeners or “quatorziens” once made themselves available as the 14th guests, just in case there were only 13 guests.


CARRIE: Just to make it less unlucky. Which I find so bizarre.

MEGAN: That’s amazing. So these people, they were just random people that would serve as this 14er to go to parties. C

ARRIE: Yes, the fourteenth guest.

MEGAN: Ah! Wow. Ok.

CARRIE: It actually sounds like a good gig.

MEGAN: I know! They got paid in food, at least.

CARRIE: Yeah food and drink probably.

MEGAN: So with that being said, we just survived a Friday the 13th. And it was in October.

CARRIE: Yeah! Double whammy.

MEGAN: Yeah. And there is even more hellish things happening, right?

CARRIE: Yes! The very last flight of flight 666 to HEL was on Friday the 13th last week.

MEGAN: I’m actually surprised that they use that number as a flight.

CARRIE: Yeah I’m sort of surprised too, although I guess not everybody is as freaked out by the number 666.

MEGAN: I guess that’s Judeo-Christian stuff, right?

CARRIE: Yes. It comes from Revelations: the mark of the beast. The fear of Friday the 13th has a word as well and it’s friggatriskaidekaphobia. I know I did that badly. Frigga or Frigg is a Norse goddess, which we named Friday after. Then 3 and 10 fear. So it’s basically the fear of Friday the 13th.

MEGAN: It doesn’t help that Jesus was supposedly crucified on a Friday.

CARRIE: Right.

MEGAN: Like you mentioned earlier, Judas was the 13th apostle that supposedly stabbed him in the back.

CARRIE: Right.

MEGAN: This is something I didn’t know – I learn so much on our podcast!

CARRIE: Me too!

MEGAN: Eve supposedly tempted Adam on a Friday, and Cain supposedly killed his brother Abel on Friday 13th.

CARRIE: I don’t know how they know that. This is probably determined by biblical scholars who really dig deep. But I’m like, “how did they know it was a Friday”? Was there such a time?

MEGAN: Yeah.

CARRIE: Well I guess there was, cuz God supposedly built the world in six days. I guess they knew what day it was. I don’t know.

MEGAN: It also could just be like a backformation kind of thing, where people are like, “we hate this day”. I don’t know. I don’t know where it came from.

CARRIE: Yeah, I don’t know either. Supposedly, Friday was the day when most people were hung or hanged – whichever version you use, I use hung. And so Friday was known as “hangman’s day”, so that’s another reason why Friday can be kind of a bad luck day. And the 13th actually falls on Friday more often than any other day of the week apparently.

MEGAN: Oh! Ok.

CARRIE: Isn’t that weird?

MEGAN: Yeah. That’s super weird.

CARRIE: In any given year, you can have one Friday the 13th or you could have up to three Friday the 13ths.

MEGAN: So we always have one Friday the 13th.

CARRIE: Every year, yeah, at least.

MEGAN: Okay.

CARRIE: Some years are particularly quote unquote unlucky by having three. People really take this seriously! Apparently 800 to 900 million dollars is lost in business on Friday the 13th, because people stopped flying, they stopped doing business.

MEGAN: I would be the business woman who swoops in and steals business on Friday the 13th.

CARRIE: Me too.

MEGAN: That’s bonkers.

CARRIE: I agree.

MEGAN: I shouldn’t call it bonkers, because there are some things I believe in that are ridiculous.

CARRIE: We all believe in at least one thing that is completely false. And is obviously false.

MEGAN: People who consider themselves unfortunate are more likely to believe in superstitions associated with bad luck. If you don’t believe in superstitions – wait, if you don’t believe in luck, then you can’t have bad luck, or you won’t believe in a magical force that is trying to ruin your life.

CARRIE: Right. I think it’s a good idea just to not worry about it.

MEGAN: We’re not trying to tell you how to live your lives, except when it comes to language.

CARRIE: It might make your life a little bit easier if you’re not superstitious. You do you. So the Friday the 13th thing brought up the – we talked about the flight 666 – there’s also a word over the fear of the number 666. I don’t even know if I want to try and say this: hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. I don’t know. It’s the fear of the number 666. This comes from the number of the beast which is in the book of Revelation from the New Testament. AND! It’s in Chapter 13.

MEGAN: I am telling you.

CARRIE: Weirdly – I didn’t know this until I did the reason research for this, because this is something I didn’t grow up with, I don’t know that much about this stuff but – apparently, in some sources the number of the beast is actually 616.

MEGAN: Oh, so we have a new number to be afraid of.

CARRIE: Just add it to the list. Apparently this comes – well there are a bunch of different theories, but the theory that made the most sense to me is – apparently the name and title of Nero the Roman Emperor, so Nero Caesar, the numerical interpretation of that is 666 if you do it through the Hebrew numerology. It was this coded way of talking about Nero, without the Roman authorities knowing.

MEGAN: And why wouldn’t they want the Roman authorities to know?

CARRIE: In modern day time, people talking about Trump, but not wanting, say, Trump to know that they’re talking about him.

MEGAN: Oh, okay.

CARRIE: The people who wrote revelations didn’t want the authorities to know that they were mocking or talking about Nero in a bad way.

MEGAN: Oh, okay. So that’s the theory you like the most. Is that the most popular theory? I’ve never heard of any other.

CARRIE: I don’t know if it’s the most popular. I honestly don’t know. There’s another view of the mark of the beast being somehow related to the rise of a supranational currency – so a currency that goes across borders, like the Euro, or, I was thinking: Bitcoin! People who believe this version of the mark of the beast believe that revelation addresses the second coming of Jesus, and so if we see these patterns come up, like this particular kind of currency, then the second coming is coming. That might be the most popular version, but I don’t know.

MEGAN: Yeah. So people avoid it just like they avoid Friday the 13th or the 13th floor, right? Apparently in 1989, Nancy and Ronald Reagan we’re moving to their home in Bel-Air which is in a fancy part of Los Angeles, and the address of this new house was 666 St Cloud Rd. They changed it to 668 St Cloud Rd. This is kind of like, for me, removing a 13th floor.

CARRIE: Yeah, it’s exactly the same to me as well.

MEGAN: You’re still living on 666 St Cloud Rd.

CARRIE: In this sense, it’s a little different, because the numbers aren’t perfect – you don’t have every single address on a block.

MEGAN: That’s true.

CARRIE: So it’s a little less frivolous. For them, it really mattered because, not only were they very strong Christians, they also believed in psychics. They believed in psychics. This stuff was really up their alley. So I’m not surprised they changed the number.

MEGAN: I didn’t know they believed in psychics. That is so California of them.

CARRIE: Especially Nancy, as far as I recall. In New Mexico, I didn’t even know there was a route 666, and it was changed in 2003 to route 491. A New Mexico spokesperson apparently said, “the devil’s out of here and we say goodbye and good riddance.” MEGAN: Wow. And this was in 2003. Not that long ago.


MEGAN: It could have been 1803, honestly.

CARRIE: Right. To me it’s just one of the most silly things we could possibly do, but whatever.

MEGAN: I really like this one, a lot. Most semiconductor processors produced in the early days of personal computers also avoided 666. While being a progressive stage in the development of processor speed, many processors such as Intel Pentium 3 were clocked at 667 mH instead of 666 mH which would have been the natural megaHertzes. MegaHertzes! I just pluraled a plural, didn’t I?

CARRIE: Hertz is not plural.

MEGAN: So how do you plural it? It’s just with a number? I guess?

CARRIE: Yeah. You don’t pluralize it. Because it’s – I don’t know why you don’t, but you don’t. Maybe because it was ends in an s, so we just don’t pluralize it. One more: apparently Joe Barton, the US representative, in 2015 – so again, very recently – had introduced a legislative bill and he had the number change from 666 to 702.

MEGAN: I don’t know how legislative bills are numbered, but that seems…

CARRIE: I thought they were sequential.

MEGAN: Right! So that’s quite the skip of numbers.

CARRIE: My guess is that other people introduced other bills in between.

MEGAN: Yeah, good point. We all survived Friday the 13th and so did everyone on flight 686 to HEL, as far as I know. They’re okay.

CARRIE: Yeah they all made it to Helsinki, everything’s fine.

MEGAN: Alright. When I was thinking about this episode, I was trying to think of the things that scared me as a child, and one of the things was the legend of Bloody Mary. It kind of has to do language, which is kind of like an incantation or a divination of something, by using words, bringing her about. The way that I grew up, you were supposed to look into a mirror, and the lights were supposed to be out, and you’re supposed to say Bloody Mary three times, and it would bring about this bloody woman that was really scary looking.

CARRIE: Like Carrie.

MEGAN: Yeah, because she was covered in blood. For me, we would just see her, that’s what I knew the legend to be. But for some people, they said that she’d actually come out of the mirror or you would have scratch marks on you, because she would come out and scratch you.

CARRIE: Oh god!

MEGAN: I know! I know! I’m really glad we weren’t that –

CARRIE: Horror?

MEGAN: Yeah yeah. The most popular version of who Bloody Mary is, is that she is Queen Mary the first of England, the daughter of –

CARRIE: Henry the 8th

MEGAN: Henry 8th and Aragon

CARRIE: Catherine Aragon. Catherine of Aragon, sorry.

MEGAN: Catherine of Aragon. If you believe that Bloody Mary is actually Queen Mary of England, then your version of Bloody Mary might also involve saying “I have your child”. That’s because, according to legend – actually this is true, right? She really wanted to have a child, because people want to have heirs to the throne. She had two false pregnancies and a lot of miscarriages, so she never got the heir. So some dicks were like, “let’s just the Bloody Mary legend is gonna be like, we’re gonna taunt her, and say that we have a child.” Some people may have that version, where they say that “I have your child.” She’s called Bloody Mary because she was all about beheadin’ Protestants.

CARRIE: I thought she burned them at the stake.

MEGAN: Oh. Really?

CARRIE: Well that’s the version I read. Let me see.

MEGAN: I thought that’s where the blood came from. It’s decapitation.

CARRIE: This is from Wikipedia: “during her five-year reign, Mary had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake.”

MEGAN: Ohhh. Okay.

CARRIE: But they were Protestants, and the Protestants did denounce her as Bloody Mary as a result. It’s interesting, because yeah that when you think of burning, it’s not bloody.

MEGAN: Although I guess it’s more symbolic. I think that the reason why Bloody Mary – or this whole idea of looking into the mirror and conjuring this woman and saying Bloody Mary is because of Queen Mary of England. But, there’s also stories that say that this originated in, let me see, can I say it: cato-, catopotromancy, how do you say that.

CARRIE: Catoptro-tro- I don’t know, let me look it up.

MEGAN: On the Wikipedia. It doesn’t have the pronunciation.

CARRIE: There’s a Merriam Webster version. Hopefully it will –

MEGAN: CAtropmancy.

CARRIE: Oh, it doesn’t have the stress properly. Where’s the main stress? MEGAN: Yeah I know.

CARRIE: CaTOPtromancy.

MEGAN: Catoptromancy. This may have originally started as a form of Catoptromancy, which is divination through mirrors. Young women used to walk backwards upstairs with a candle in one hand and a handheld mirror in the other. What was supposed to appear in the mirror was the face of the man you were supposed to marry. If the Grim Reaper showed up in the mirror, it meant that you were going to be dead before you could ever get married. This story, this version, just reminded me of how many of those girls would see the Grim Reaper and be like, “thank god. I’m gonna die before I have to marry a man.”

CARRIE: But, if you’re that kind of woman are you the type of woman who is going to be walking up stairs backwards with the mirror in your hand?

MEGAN: Peer pressure. They probably have slumber parties. Everyone was doing it. I don’t know. So there’s that version of it. There’s also – when I was thinking about this – there is a Japanese version, that’s kind of similar: Hanako-san. It was supposedly a World War II era Japanese girl, who probably died in an air raid. She appears in bathrooms, but to call her you must go to the third stall of the third floor bathroom and say, “are you there Hanako-san?” three times. There’s also the three there. Saying it three times, just like Bloody Mary. I don’t know what that’s about.

CARRIE: Three is also supposed to be a powerful number, so it’s related to the Trinity. If you think about fairy tales, a lot of them have three things happening, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

MEGAN: Oh yeah. And then the three wolves, bad wolf, or the three little pigs.

CARRIE: Three little pigs, yeah. In European folktales, three is a very powerful number, probably related to the Trinity? Maybe? Maybe it’s older than that? In North America, the most powerful number was often four. Things happen four times in –

MEGAN: Oh okay. So like in indigenous folk tales?


MEGAN: Another one that reminded me of Bloody Mary, if we’re talking about Queen Mary, is La Llorona, which is a Mexican folk story about a woman who supposedly was just so upset because her handsome husband cheated on her with someone younger, and so she decided to drown her children in a river. I thought of Mary, these poor women. Mary wants to be a mother, and Llorna was apparently a terrible mother, and this idea that women that are not successful at being mothers come back and haunt us. It’s just so terrible. I didn’t actually grow up with La Llorona, because I didn’t live by a river, but I did grow up with El Chupacabra, because I lived by fields. But he doesn’t have to do with anything with words. He’s just a bloodsucking goat killer.

GOATS: baaaaaaa

MEGAN: So yeah Bloody Mary. I can say Bloody Mary in the mirror three times now, but I could not when I was eight.

CARRIE: Yeah I couldn’t either. I was terrified. It doesn’t make any sense, but I was scared of everything. I was scared of Friday the 13th when I was that age too.

MEGAN: Yeah, I mean all the movies.

CARRIE: It wasn’t even about the movies, because I refused to watch them. I don’t know why. I just. I took it seriously.

MEGAN: I think there was a lot of peer pressure to take it seriously too. My friends were so afraid so I was like, “well I should be afraid too.”

CARRIE: So that naturally leads into the witch-hunt idea. Because we were talking about maybe a witch was burned at the stake and that’s why Bloody Mary – did we say that?

MEGAN: No sorry. One other version of Bloody Mary, apparently a lady named Mary Worth was burned at the stake for being a witch. They think that she was actually Bloody Mary. Actually, she was a witch. She did practice witchcraft.

CARRIE: She did? How do you know that? Because witches aren’t real, so. [Laughter]

ERIC IDLE: We have found a witch, may we burn her?

CROWD: [Yelling]

TERRY JONES: How do we know she is a witch?

ERIC IDLE: She looks like one!

CROWD: Yeah, she looks like one. [Yelling]

TERRY JONES: Bring her forward.

CARRIE: She thinks she was a witch.

MEGAN: Yes, sorry. There’s one version of the story where Bloody Mary’s actually the ghost of a woman who believed she was a witch named Mary Worth. Because Mary Worth practiced the dark arts. She was a real motherfucker, because she would do ritualistic sacrifices of runaway slaves.

CARRIE: Ohhhhh. Oh. Ok.

MEGAN: Yeah, she was not great.


MEGAN: Yeah. We probably should have punished her for doing the ritualistic sacrifices of human beings, and not the other little things.

CARRIE: Yeah, the fact that she was a witch – which is not a real thing – is irrelevant. I know there were witches, like in the Wiccan sense, but we’re talking about witches in terms of actual, literal magical power. Maybe you believe in them, but I don’t. So that naturally that leads us into the idea of a witch-hunt. A witch-hunt is a search for people who are labeled witches, or even just evidence of witchhood at all. It usually involves something like moral panic, which is a feeling of fear spreading throughout a population. You think that there’s some evil in your society and it threatens your society. Examples of that are things like Satanism or the war on drugs. Or it involves mass hysteria, which is kind of related but a little bit different. Everyone thinks that they’re a witch or everyone thinks that they are sick. The Classical period when we think of witch-hunts, we normally think of Europe and North America from around 1450 to 1750. That was the classic time when we were burning witches. Apparently 35,000 to 100,000 people were killed. Obviously mostly women, because that’s who we’re most afraid of. The last executions of people convicted as witches in Europe was in the 18th century, but there are still current contemporary witch-hunts, reported, at least, in subsaharan Africa and Papua New Guinea. There’s actual legislation against witchcraft in Saudi Arabia and Cameroon. People still take it seriously.

MEGAN: Wow, I didn’t know that.

CARRIE: I knew that, but I’d forgotten. And, as expected, no matter what, if we’re talking in the past, we’re talking about currently, most of the accused are women or children, so more vulnerable people, but they also can be elderly people or marginalized groups of the community – again vulnerable people. These victims are often considered to be burdens, and I think that’s how they justify killing them. They’re burdens AND they’re evil. Or they’re evil because they’re burdens somehow. It really upsets me when people use witch-hunt incorrectly. It’s often by men. People who are in power.

TRUMP: Well I respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch-hunt and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign.

CARRIE: For example right now, more men are being accused of sexual assault, like Weinstein. Men are saying this is a witch-hunt, we’re looking for other cases. I like this tweet from Sarah Lerner, who says the only men who earnestly use the phrase witch-hunt are the ones afraid of actually being held accountable.

MEGAN: Which is the opposite of what was happening in actual witch-hunts, right?

CARRIE: Right. Witch-hunts are targeting people who maybe are on the margins of society, but they’re not doing anything – usually – they just freak people out for no reason usually.

MEGAN: Right. Yeah so it’s ahistorical to be a white man in power and say hey you’re subject to a witch-hunt.

CARRIE: Right. Obviously other people have said this before us, but I just want to add to the “just don’t say that”. Don’t use it incorrectly. Alright, I think the last thing we should talk about is “glamour”.

MEGAN: Yes. You please talk about this. I have no idea. Where did you find this?

CARRIE: Someone tweeted it!

MEGAN: Oh right, right you said it – okay go on.

CARRIE: I did not know this before today, but “glamour” – the word glamour – first of all is a Scottish English word, and it’s related to “grammar”. Back in medieval times, grammar used to mean any type of scholarship, but especially occult learning. Because back then, if you were learning, you were also learning things that we would consider to be non-scientific, like astrology or alchemy. Back in that era, in that time, if you were a learned person, you were learning all kinds of things, including the occult. At some point grammar had a specialized meaning on top of the normal meaning – what we think of as grammar now: learning how to read and write. Well, that’s what it meant originally, so learning how to read and write, but it also had this specialized meaning of occult learning. It went from this path of reading and writing to occult to magic. “Glamour” meant magic or spell, or magic or enchantment, and then from there it took on this magical beauty or alluring charm, by around 1840. It took this interesting path and now we think of it as meaning “glamorous”. But it originally meant magic, and before that learnedness in general. Glamour is still used in a magic sense, like as a type of spell – making objects appear different – but mostly we think of glamorous.

MEGAN: Wow. I would have never known that.

CARRIE: Me either!

MEGAN: Thank you Twitter.

CARRIE: Yeah Twitter is a cesspool, but there’s some cool stuff on there too.

MEGAN: Yes. I agree.

CARRIE: Related is “grimoire”, which probably also comes from the same meaning of grammar. A grimoire is a book of instructions in the use of magic or alchemy, but especially used to summon demons. It possibly also comes from the Frankish word “*grīma” – I’m not sure how to pronounce it so I’ll say grima [gɹɪmɑ] – which meant mask or sorcerer. That also is the origin of the word for “grimace”. Or it could also come from the Italian word “rimario”, which is book of rhymes, but it melded with grammar. So either book of rhymes or master sorcerer coming together with grammar and you got grimoire. I thought that was kind of fun.

MEGAN: That is fun. I will never think of glamour the same.

CARRIE: No, me either.

MEGAN: So if we say glamorous, could it mean like, “that’s magical”?

CARRIE: I don’t think that’s – I don’t think anyone ever uses glamorous to mean to put the whammy on someone or something like that.

MEGAN: That’s too bad. Maybe we can make it happen.

CARRIE: We can. Oh! So the definition according to “full of glamour, charmingly or fascinatingly attractive, especially in a mysterious or magical way”.

MEGAN: See, I’ve never looked up glamorous! I’ve never seen that. Alright, so it’s there! It’s still kind of there. Alright.

CARRIE: I just wanted to give a little shout out to Côte d’Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, because for some reason 5% of our listeners are from there, which is kind of awesome and unexpected.

MEGAN: Yeah, I love that.

CARRIE: Thank you Côte d’Ivoire.

MEGAN: We have people from several different countries, right?

CARRIE: Yes. But that was the largest of the non-English speaking countries. Cuz it’s francophone, mainly. Plus all the African languages spoken there as well.

MEGAN: Yes, very cool. Alright so I guess next time back to linguistic discrimination, eh?

CARRIE: Yeah, there definitely will be actual literal linguistic discrimination as opposed to – well there’s discrimination in this, it’s just not about language per se.

MEGAN: We can’t escape it.

CARRIE: Yeah. But I hope you enjoyed our Halloween episode and thank you so much for listening.

MEGAN: Yes and you know, don’t be an asshole.

CARRIE: Do not be an asshole. Bye!


CARRIE: The Vocal Fries Podcast is produced by Chris Ayers for Halftone Audio. Theme music by Nick Granum. You can find us on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @vocalfriespod. You can email us at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s