Word Bomb

Word Bomb

tvo.org/wordbomb
Language moves fast and Word Bomb is here to help. Unpacking one explosive word per week, hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta talk to experts and dive deep into lived experiences to share stories the dictionary doesn’t tell you.


9 - ‘Toronto’: Live at Hot Docs
Nov 26, 2019 • 11 min
Tkaronto, York, Toronto the Good, T-Dot, Hogtown, the 6ix… Canada’s largest city has gone by many names over the years, and Pippa and Karina explore the myths and origin stories behind all of them. This season finale was recorded at the Hot Docs Ted…
8 - ‘White’: The Great YT North
Nov 19, 2019 • 33 min
Are Canadians too polite to talk about race? When it comes to whiteness in Canada, it’s a conversation worth having. Pippa and Karina explore the surprising origins of the words “white” and “Caucasian,” talk about what it really means to be white in…
7 - ‘Drag’: From drag balls to RuPaul
Nov 12, 2019 • 26 min
Serving realness, throwing shade, reading - RuPaul’s Drag Race put drag slang on the map, for better and for worse. Pippa and Karina talk to a drag performer and an anthropology scholar about the aftershocks of appropriated language and the real…
6 - ‘Troll’: From the internet to IRL
Nov 5, 2019 • 26 min
Being a butt on the internet just isn’t what it used to be. From the early ’90s to the age of Trump and troll farms, there’s a lot to unpack about what we mean when we call someone a troll. Pippa and Karina talk trolling online and in real life with an…
5 - ‘Meme’: Weird episode, but OK
Oct 29, 2019 • 13 min
LOLcats and starter packs. Evil Kermit and Pepe the Frog. One does not simply record a podcast episode on memes, but they can’t stop all of us, let alone 30-50 feral hogs. In this mini-episode, Pippa and Karina talk memes past, present, and future to…
4 - ‘Anthropocene’: Naming the climate crisis
Oct 22, 2019 • 28 min
As the Earth responds ever more rapidly to human activity, a controversial group of scientists is proposing that we’ve entered a new epoch: the age of the Anthropocene. Pippa and Karina sit down with earth scientists and a documentary filmmaker to talk…
3 - ‘Crazy’: How to De-craze Our Conversations
Oct 15, 2019 • 16 min
Dude, that’s craaazy. In this mini episode, Pippa and Karina discuss one of the most-used adjectives in their vocabulary, what they mean when they use the word “crazy,” and the subtle ways that ableist language can creep into casual conversation.
2 - ‘Addict’: On drug use and language usage
Oct 8, 2019 • 25 min
With an opioid epidemic sweeping North America, there has never been a more urgent time to question how we talk about people who use drugs. Pippa and Karina dive into diagnostic manuals to track the history of how doctors have written about addiction, and…
1 - ‘Polyamory’: Opening up the vocab of non-monogamy
Oct 1, 2019 • 26 min
Polyamory in North America is on the rise-and with it comes a plethora of brand-new words to describe how non-monogamous relationships work, like “polycule” and “compersion”. Karina and Pippa talk to a polyamorous reporter and a family lawyer about this…
Word Bomb is back for Season 2!
Sep 26, 2019 • 0 min
Listen to hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta in season 2 of Word Bomb. Subscribe now!
9 - ‘Native’: O Canada, don’t label, just listen
Nov 13, 2018 • 32 min
In this episode, Karina and Pippa consider the word Native, using it to explore Canada’s painful colonial past and present. They discuss the labels applied to Indigenous peoples and sit down with two Indigenous artists to talk self-identification, word…
8 - ‘Renoviction’: Portmanteau as protest
Nov 6, 2018 • 25 min
What happens when landlords evict tenants to renovate their units and triple the rents? Bitter disputes, drawn-out court battles, fierce housing activism - and a brand-new portmanteau that’s catching on so fast, it seems poised for dictionary status.…
7 - ‘Partner’: The best name for your better half?
Oct 30, 2018 • 12 min
Girlfriend, boyfriend, S.O., bae, better half, sweetheart, beau … what’s in a name? Pippa and Karina debate and dismantle all the names you may choose to call that special someone and discuss the social utility of the word partner - and its important…
6 - ‘Singular They’: Busting open the binary
Oct 23, 2018 • 25 min
Pippa and Karina journey from the fifteenth century to the present day, tracing the course of a small word with an outsized impact. As singular “they” gains ground as the gender-neutral pronoun of choice for nonbinary folks, are publications and the…
5 - ‘Moist’: The ick factor and damp semantics
Oct 16, 2018 • 11 min
Why are people so hung up on the word “moist”? Pippa and Karina wade into the damp, the humid and the slightly wet as they dismantle English’s most hated word (and repeat it enough to cure themselves of word aversion).
4 - ‘Trigger’: The word behind the warning
Oct 9, 2018 • 26 min
TW: everything. This week, Pippa and Karina tackle the word “trigger”, interviewing a PhD student, a mental health advocate and a filmmaker. Safe spaces, content warnings and “snowflakes” all feature in this exploration of the words we use when we talk…
3 - ‘Like’: Tackling a like/hate relationship
Oct 2, 2018 • 12 min
What does it mean when we pepper everything we say with “like”? Word Bomb hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta take a good, hard listen to their own speech patterns and reveal some surprising stats.
1 - ‘Fat’: Go ahead, say the F-word
Oct 2, 2018 • 28 min
In our very first episode of Word Bomb, hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta discuss the word “fat,” bias, and the “euphemism treadmill.”
2 - ‘Doxx’: Hacking the language of the internet
Oct 2, 2018 • 33 min
What does it mean to “doxx somebody?” Word Bomb hosts Pippa Johnstone and Karina Palmitesta delve deep into the dark history of an ever-evolving culture of online discourse.
Coming Soon: Word Bomb, a TVO Podcast
Sep 23, 2018 • 1 min
Welcome to Word Bomb, the podcast that helps us understand our words in a whole new way. Subscribe now for episodes that begin in October 2018.