The Expressionists is a podcast by Helen Rydstrand and Olivia Rosenman that explores how idioms connect us with the past and to each other. Season three is coming in September 2018. Stay tuned.
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Episode 20 – Tea ladies


It's tea for two and two for tea on the last Expressionists episode for season 2. Yes, we're talking idioms relating to the world's most consumed beverage, so put the kettle on, pour yourself a comforting cuppa and listen in. We promise you it's relevant to the price of tea in China.

Episode 19 – Cop an earful

We all try to get along most of the time, but everyone needs some good insults up their sleeve, and there's nothing that adds insult to injury like an idiom. Join us for an ugly, mud-slinging instalment of the Expressionists.

Episode 18 – Legwork

Humans have been walking upright for at least six million years, and that's more than enough time to come up with an idiom or two about Shanks pony. So take a hike with the Expressionists as they ramble with walking idioms in this far from pedestrian episode.

Episode 17 – Always was, always will be

January 26 is Australia Day – a day also known as Invasion Day, or Survival Day, to Australia's First Nations peoples and their allies.
We mark this day with a special episode exploring the languages of indigenous Australia, and featuring the voices of two expert guests: Professor Jakelin Troy from the University of Sydney, and ABC Radio National's Daniel Browning.

Episode 16 – Kick-off

What better way to kick off a World Cup year than with an episode on idioms relating to the beautiful game? Join us to discover the surprising connections between soccer, literary style, the history of radio, and politics, in this special collaboration with By Association podcast.

Sneak peek: What’s in a name?

In our first episode for 2018, we joined forces with James Parkinson of the excellent By Association podcast, to talk about idioms relating to the footiest of the footballs: soccer. In this sneak peek, James gets the ball rolling by enlightening us on the origins and usage of the term 'soccer' itself. Listen now, then tune in to the full episode – out this Friday.

Episode 15 – Out with the old

It's the end of 2017 already and, even though we're as shocked as the next guy, we'll take a cup o' kindness yet for good auld lang syne. Listen to this episode full of New Year's idioms and bring life to your NYE party with an abundance of excellent facts.

Episode 14 – Silly season

'Tis the season... to burn the midnight oil while putting up decorations, and to go cold turkey on moderation! And what better way to get into the swing of things than by learning about a couple of festive(-ish) idioms? Plus, we chat with our buddy Thom Calma about the spirit of giving.

Episode 13 – Code red

On the rags, shark week, red wedding, surfing the crimson tide and who the hell is Aunt Flo? Why can't we just say menstruating!? In this episode we explore the weird world of period idioms.

Bonus Episode – Blood Sweat and Tears

It’s not just teens who suffer from the lack of a toilet. Listen to Mark Balla tell a moving story about one primary school he visited without a toilet and why that meant a disruption to kids’ schooling once a month, every month.

Episode 12 – Potty mouths

You don't have to get up at sparrow's fart to make sure you don't piss your day away. Just celebrate World Toilet Day with us by listening to this loo-themed episode, featuring special guest Mark Balla from We Can't Wait, along with all the shits and giggles you could desire.

Episode 11 – Horsing around

The Melbourne Cup is famously "the race that stops the nation" so while everyone is paused we're here to talk about why there are so many horse-related idioms in the English language, and tell the stories of a few.  We really think you should listen, but we're well aware that you can lead a horse to water....

Season 2 – coming VERY soon

Set your alarm for sparrow's fart on Friday, November 3, when the first episode of our second season will be hot off the press! We'll be horsing around thanks to the race that stops the nation. Make sure you're subscribed so you can get it as soon as it drops!

Episode 10 – Mail order marriage

As ballots are arriving in mailboxes around the country, and Australians are going postal for marriage equality, we take a moment to talk about why everyone should have the right to tie the knot.

Episode 9 – Cats vs. dogs


We go to see a man about a dog... and a cat. Actually, there's no man, just four pet idioms. It gets a bit hairy. Why would you skin a cat and what does dog fur have to do with drinking anyway!? Listen in and all will be revealed.

Episode 8 – Considering caps and bees in bonnets

Do you have a bee in your bonnet? Perhaps you need to put your thinking cap on to get to the heart of the matter. This episode we take our hats off to idioms that feature headwear.

Episode 7 – All about the cock

Cocks feature in many English expressions and this week we consider three of them - cock and bull story, cock of the walk and to go off half cocked. One relates to to the remarkable history of domestic fowl, one to drunk coach drivers and one has nothing to do with birds at all.

Episode 6 – Why did the chicken cross the line?

You might know part of the story behind 'the sky is falling', but what about 'drawing a line in the sand'? This episode explores how idioms help us tap into our shared histories, both ancient and modern.

Episode 5 – Put this in your cake hole

Baked goods have a special place in English expressions. We find out if you can ever have your cake and eat it too, and ponder why we liken baby-making to bun-baking.

Episode 4 – And a bottle of rum

Do you know whether the sun is over the yard arm yet, or what it means to be three sheets to the wind? Join us as we cruise the high seas of nautical drinking idioms.

Episode 3 – Haters Gonna

We roast that old chestnut about the grandmother who sucks eggs. This episode features two well-worn phrases Olivia and Helen just hate.

Episode 2 – What a treat!

Here at the Expressionists we love eating and idioms just about equally. But what could 'putting your foot in it' and 'giving short shrift' possibly have to do with food? Listen in to find out!

Episode 1 – We come from a land downunder

Is there a roo loose in your top paddock or are you just flat out like a lizard drinking? We kick off with a special antipodean episode in which we dissect two Australian animal expressions.

The Expressionists Launch Party

To celebrate the launch of The Expressionists on 1 June 2017, we gathered at the Eveleigh Hotel in central Sydney for a few drinks, pub dinner and a piece of cake. We figured we should give the crowd a demo of what The Expressionists is all about, so we took a look into the well-worn […]

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