The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt through the Lost Words of the English Language


Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you?re philogrobolized.

Find yourself pretending to work? That?s fudgelling.

And this could lead to rizzling, if you feel sleepy after lunch. Though you are sure to become a sparkling deipnosopbist by dinner. Just don?t get too vinomadefied; a drunk dinner companion is never appreciated.

The Horologicon (or book of hours) contains the most extraordinary words in the English ...

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The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt through the Lost Words of the English Language

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Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized.

Find yourself pretending to work? That’s fudgelling.

And this could lead to rizzling, if you feel sleepy after lunch. Though you are sure to become a sparkling deipnosopbist by dinner. Just don’t get too vinomadefied; a drunk dinner companion is never appreciated.

The Horologicon (or book of hours) contains the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to what hour of the day you might need them. From Mark Forsyth, the author of the #1 international bestseller, The Etymologicon, comes a book of weird words for familiar situations. From ante-jentacular to snudge by way of quafftide and wamblecropt, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Mignon Fogarty
…once you pick up The Horologicon it's hard to put down…Although I'm interested in etymology, I prefer to learn about words I may have some hope of fitting into a sentence. Nevertheless, after just a few pages Forsyth had roped me in with his masterly prose, and I eagerly continued on his guided tour through the museum that is the English language…The Horologicon will be as engrossing for people interested in history and culture as it is for those who love words. It's the best word-themed book I've read in years…
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

  • ISBN-13: 9780425264379
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 317,367
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist, proofreader, ghostwriter, and pedant. He was given a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. He is the creator of The Inky Fool, a blog about words, phrases, grammar, rhetoric, and prose. He lives in the UK.
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