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Something Rhymes with Purple

Somethin' Else

Winner of the Gold Award for Best Entertainment Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2020. Susie Dent and Gyles Brandreth invite you to enhance your vocabulary, uncover the hidden origins of language and share their love of words. A Somethin' Else production. To buy SRWP mugs and more head to....

Winner of the Gold Award for Best Entertainment Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2020. Susie Dent and Gyles Brandreth invite you to enhance your vocabulary, uncover the hidden origins of language and share their love of words. A Somethin' Else production. To buy SRWP mugs and more head to....


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Winner of the Gold Award for Best Entertainment Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2020. Susie Dent and Gyles Brandreth invite you to enhance your vocabulary, uncover the hidden origins of language and share their love of words. A Somethin' Else production. To buy SRWP mugs and more head to....





This week we’re heading back to school to discuss beaks, divs, rostrums, and to get to the bottom of why UK public schools don’t seem very open to the public. We discuss the benefits of an encyclopaedia education, why school is actually a leisure activity, and we debate whether it’s skiving, bunking, or playing hooky. Away from the classroom there’s lots of reminiscing about favourite school-related books and tv shows, and some rather grand claims to fame from both Enid Blyton and Jacqueline...



P-p-p-p-p-ick up a podcast… and join us as we spill the tea (both figuratively and literally) and get busy dunking biscuits into our brew. From the Wagon Wheel to the Jammie Dodger, Susie and Gyles unpick the fascinating stories behind the names of our favourite twice-baked treats, as well as finding a little time to reveal their desert island biscuits… and quite how many they can eat in one sitting. There’s lots to digest as we learn about hobnobbing Italian Generals rubbing shoulders with...



According to the great philosophers Heraclitus and Gyles Brandreth, “change is the only constant”. After an absolute Katzenjammer of a week for Susie we focus on change of all kinds, from the shifting seasons to what defines the ‘new normal’. As we Fall into Autumn, we find out why sozzled cads are bonking less and, avoiding the treadmill, we pour a large cuddle-me-buff, to embrace the hygge and snudge our way through the dreich conditions. Elsewhere Gyles picks three of his favourite words...


Introducing... The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq

Hi Something Rhymes With Purple fans, we've made a show we think you'll like.... On September 11th 2001, as he faced incalculable losses after the terrorist attacks that day, President George W Bush made a call to his greatest international ally: British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 18 months later, Bush and Blair led a coalition into a war that went horribly wrong. David Dimbleby, one of the BBC’s best known news hosts and reporters, takes us back to those crucial 18 months. Talking to prime...


Hot Beef!

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question” Eugene Ionesco Hopefully he’s only half right… but this week we are entirely in your hands and answering your enlightening questions that have been coming into the inbox in recent weeks. In this correspondence special Susie and Gyles are tackling migraines with essential oils, finding out how chickens keep sneaking into phrases, and wondering who in the heavens was Betsy? Susie makes the ineffable effable and the whole thing 'pans...



Atten-SHUN! Lace up your boots and join Privates Dent and Brandreth as we take a linguistic yomp through the world of army slang. Wearing their canteen medals with pride, Gyles and Susie travel from Civvie Street to the mess, breaking bread with a sky pilot, a fetch, and a fobbit, before donning their crap hats, taking advantage of a desert lily and heading off to their doss bags feeling utterly chinstrapped. A Somethin' Else production Email Gyles and Susie via...



Having tackled the stars in the sky, this week we’re turning our gaze to the stars who walk upon the earth. From the first celebrities to Beatle-mania via way of the inaugural ‘It Girl’ we’re tackling the full A-List of famous terminologies. This gives Gyles the perfect platform for some legitimate name-dropping, we delve deeper into Susie’s Arsene Wenger brain crush, and we discover Oscar Wilde’s numerous and ingenious methods of getting noticed. We also find time to give a few listeners...



With the season kicking off on Saturday we’re lacing up our linguistic shooting boots and taking a dive (boo!) into the language of football… or should that be soccer? Either way Gyles is ‘taking one for the team’ this week as he plays more of a ‘cheese sandwich’ to Susie’s footie ‘fanatic’. She throws nutmegs, Panenkas, and Rabonas into the ‘mixer’ whilst deftly avoiding throwing him a ‘hospital pass’. In the second half we whizz through some fascinating club nicknames from the Mackems to...



Pssst… yes you… how do you fancy being a birdwatcher or perhaps a sleeper ready to wake up in time for the dead drop? Well, listen in and allow Agents Brandreth and Dent to provide you with the linguistic pocket-litter to avoid you blowing your cover. If you haven’t yet cracked the code, this week we’re discussing the intricate language of the murky world of espionage. Find out the difference between the Scalphunters and the Lamplighters, get your “shoes” from the Cobbler and join us as we...



This week’s podcast is an absolute joke… in a good way! Join Gyles and Susie as they whisk us through the history of the things that make us laugh. From the first recorded joke in history (newsflash: toilet humour is nothing new) to the best jokes of recent Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, prepare to guffaw (and groan) your way through the next 45 minutes. We’ve got chickens crossing roads, a banned Christmas cracker joke, the origin of Knock Knock humour, and Gyles keeps things ticking over by...


Dr. Johnson

Dictionaries, depression, a doctorate and a 311th birthday to celebrate…can you guess? Oh yes, this week Susie and Gyles are saluting one of their literary heroes: Doctor Samuel Johnson! We will journey from Litchfield to London and whilst liaising with the literary greats of the day (and falling in love) we will discover how Johnson's desire to halt the degradation of the English language gave us his dictionary. A tumultuous tale involving embryos, rants, hiccups and kisses and a trip to...


Dwile Flonking

Cheers! This week we're looking for answers at the bottom of the glass as we drink in the history behind the fascinating names of the boozers of Britain. Like Chaucer's pilgrims we start at The Tabard before cantering through the rivalry between the Red Lion and the White Hart. We find a stowaway king inside the Royal Oak, a rather befuddled duck in Ambleside, and we wonder why Livery Companies always move in threes. Along the way there's time for Susie to get up on the bar and entertain us...


The Milky Way

3..2..1..Get ready to launch into an episode that is out of this world as Susie and Gyles explore the language of outer space. Via the fast-flighted messenger Mercury to the saturnine tendencies of an overthrown Roman God, we explore how the planets came to be named and the legacy they have left within our everyday vocabularies. There’s just about time to stop off for a chocolate bar or two while Susie takes the opportunity to drop a celebrity name and Gyles discusses their compatibility…...



Doctor, Doctor, I’ve forgotten to listen to my favourite podcast! This week we delve into to the world of non-medical doctors… from Dr Johnson through to Dr Dolittle by way of Dr Frankenstein, we explore the fascinating world behind all those who have had that title bestowed upon them… for better or for worse! Along the way Gyles recounts meeting ALL those who have played Doctor Who and Susie reveals the murky world behind medical slang. As always Susie has three new words to introduce to...


Humpty Dumpty

What do Humpty Dumpty, Contrary Mary, and Baa Baa Black Sheep all have in common? Well, you might think twice about reading them as bedtime stories, I’m afraid. This week, Gyles and Susie are delving into those centuries old Nursery Rhymes to uncover their - often sinister - meanings and possible origins. Expect ‘silver bells and cockleshells’ to sound less like gardening utensils and more like instruments of torture, and be prepared to have that image as Humpty Dumpty as an egg dispelled...



This week we officially became the Best Entertainment Podcast of the year at the British Podcast Awards. Thank you so much to all the Purple People who listen… you make this show what it is and we couldn’t do it without you. But to provide some balance to all this happiness, this week we’re talking about those linguistic tics that really get on our wick. I mean, you know, you could care less, but we’ll give it 100%, so… As well as swapping their language bugbears, Susie offers us three...



From elite sports to class systems, it’s a hairy episode this week as Glyes and Susie delve into the history of hair which prompts Gyles to spill all on his past life’s involvement with the Porn industry. Via the astronomical, tribal and in some cases very bloody history of hair, you’re in for some fascinating tales or should that be "(pig)tails"... We’ll also be hearing Susie’s trio of words for the week and Gyles sends us off with a powerful poem. If you would like to ask Gyles & Susie a...


All That Jazz

"Music makes (Purple) people, come together." That’s not the only Madonna lyric that gets mistreated in this lyrical romp through the fascinating world of musical genres and phrases. We’ll be hip-hopping our way from the house (and garage) all the way to the discotheque to soak up the funk, with just enough time for Susie to channel her inner Wonder Mike and for Gyles to let his hips do the talking… We’ll also be going through the fabulous ‘mondegreens’ you’ve been mishearing, Susie has a...


Plings & Bangs!

Join Susie and Gyles as they venture back to pre-biblical times to uncover the history of punctuation marks. This week we’ll be diving into the drama of the comma whilst teasing out the moments when the semi-colon provides the perfect pause. We also unearth a confession from both Gyles and Susie about their - as of yet, unsuccessful - attempts to read James Joyce's Ulysses (hint: there's a sentence that contains 4391 words). We also get through lots of your brilliant emails and we want you...



Aghast that Gyles still thinks ‘YOLO’ is a new word, Susie talks us through the process of creating new words and, more importantly, how to get them into the dictionary. Via oldies like ‘groupies’, ‘burtons’ and ‘velcro’ Susie discusses which words stick and passes judgment on whether new words like ‘Covidiot’ are here for the long haul. She reminds us that you can’t campaign for a word to be added to the dictionary (as the Potato Council found to their disappointment)… but that won’t stop...