The Horologicon

The Horologicon

by Mark Forsyth

Mark Forsyth’s bestselling day in the life of unusual, beautiful and forgotten English words, in paperback for the first time

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Mark Forsyth’s bestselling day in the life of unusual, beautiful and forgotten English words, in paperback for the first time

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his latest linguistic endeavor, Forsyth (The Etymologicon) takes a day trip to the land of lost words, encountering obscure words in the course of a typical day. This is not a book to be gulped down at a sitting, but gently masticated to be savored in small bites. Arranged by activities appropriate to the hour of the day, Forsyth begins the day with the word Uhtceare, meaning "lying awake before dawn and worrying" and moves all the way to night time with the phrase "myoclonic jerk" referring to the twitch that occurs as your body drifts to sleep. There are few activities that Forsyth's wry wit doesn't cover. Though many of his terms are admittedly outdated, he cleverly appropriates them to modern time. Such when he discusses his most common form of email: e-mail of Uriah meaning "a treacherous email, implying friendship but in reality a death warrant." His irreverent commentary on the history of the terms and when to use them is worth reading even if one doesn't have the courage to declare it is quafftide ("the time of drink") among friends. Some words are borrowed from languages like Yiddish and Tillicum, where they are still used in daily conversation, but most are sadly forgotten English expressions. Every page contains a new jewel for logophiles and verbivores everywhere. (Oct.)
Library Journal
When people are obsessed with words, they are really obsessed with words—so much so that they want to write, or read, about them. A lot. Blogger, author, and word nerd Forsyth is so addicted that he has followed up his best-selling The Etymologicon: a Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language with this look at long-gone but oh so enticing and impressive words. Forsyth is the captain behind the logophile's beloved blog The Inky Fool, and this title introduces readers to some of the best, weirdest, and most wonderful archaic terms, and he hopes the general public will soon slip them into conversation and bring them back to life again. Organized by time of day, the volume rousts readers out of bed in the antelucan hush, helps them jenticulate (look it up!), and prepares them for the mugwumpery of the dreary day. From waking, eating lunch, and working to commuting, sleeping, and even wooing (or fanfreluching), Forsyth's fascinating entries employ erudite humor and playful historical anecdotes to make these dusty old words sound fresh again. In doing so, he succeeds in creating a book to be not just browsed but absorbed. VERDICT Get ready to be impressed and entertained…and amaze your friends with your newfound vocabulary as well.—Sharon Verbeten, Brown County Lib., Green Bay, WI

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Product Details

Icon Books, Ltd. UK
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Barnes & Noble
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2 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Praise for Etymologicon

“The Facebook of books…Before you know it, you’ve been reading for an hour.”—The Chicago Tribune

“A breezy, amusing stroll through the uncommon histories of some common English words…Snack-food style blends with health-food substance for a most satisfying meal.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The stocking filler of the season...How else to describe a book that explains the connection between Dom Perignon and Mein Kampf.”—Robert McCrum, The Observer

“Crikey...this is addictive!”—The Times

“Mark Forsyth is clearly a man who knows his onions.”—Daily Telegraph

“Delightful…Witty and erudite and stuffed with the kind of arcane information that nobody strictly needs to know, but which is a pleasure to learn nonetheless.”—The Independent (UK)

“Witty and well researched…Who wouldn’t want to read about the derivation of the word ‘gormless’? Or the relationship between the words ‘buffalo’ and ‘buff’?”—The Guardian (UK)

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