Supername! | WBEZ
Skip to main content

The Allusionist


Up in the sky: look! It’s an adjective! It’s a noun! It’s…Adjectivenoun! 

Your friendly neighbourhood superheroes might have thrilling and varied powers and spandex garments, but the way their names are concocted have followed only a handful of formulae in the past 80 years, since Superman sent superheroes soaring. 

(Yes, alliteration is one such naming formula.)

Glen Weldon of Pop Culture Happy Hour traces the supername’s development from Adjective+Gender through Colour+Noun to Lone Noun.

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear them all at

The show’s online home is Stay in touch at and

This episode is sponsored by Audible – listeners in the US can get a free audiobook by taking out a trial membership at or by texting 500-500.

Radiotopia is going on tour! Join us in May at theatres in Atlanta, Durham, DC, Philly, NYC and Boston. Get your tickets at

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.