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The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them.Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That’s fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparklThe Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them.Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That’s fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparkling deipnosophist.From Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, this is 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....

Title : Horologicon
Author :
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ISBN : 9780425264379
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Horologicon Reviews

  • James
    2019-03-29 13:08

    Mr Forsyth does it again. If you liked the Etymologicon, or you're just the kind of person who likes tons of out of use or foreign words for everyday things, liberally sprinkled with dry British wit and jokes about being drunk or going to the toilet, then this is the book for you.Whereas the Etymologicon was a roundabout trip through a sequence of words, each one linking to the next. This is the Horologicon: the book of hours. Each chapter is dedicated to an hour in the life of the mythical, idealised, reader – from the crack of dawn at 6am, through to finally falling asleep at midnight. And, each chapter provides an array of useful words to meet any potential occasion in that hour. Forsyth isn't quite sure if the reader is a man or a woman, single or married, etc. so he tries to cover as many bases as possible. Especially a number of the baser bases – there's an entire appendix of words and phrases to describe being drunk for example.The book's advice is to not read it cover to cover, but instead to treat it as a reference work and read only the chapter relevant to the hour of the day that you find yourself in, and there are some strong warnings as to what might befall the brave reader who ignores the warning. But, in the interest of science, this review, my reading challenge target, and the fact that I was loving it I read on fearlessly. So far there have been no suicides, or gun rampages and only a little crazed nudity.The only real problem I ever have with books of this nature is having read through laughing, and willing myself to remember the words I like the most, I generally find myself just about remembering that there was a word for the situation I find myself in, and that it was hilarious, but not a hint as to what the word was. The only one which has stuck with me though is: Dysania – an extreme difficulty in waking up and getting out of bed. It's a proper medical condition, not just laziness!

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-02 13:37

    Review Here

  • Mara
    2019-04-18 12:31

    Author, Mark Forsyth, warns readers against consuming The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language start-to-finish, cautioning that:If you do, Hell itself will hold no horrors for you, and neither the author nor his parent company will accept liability for any suicides, gun rampages or crazed nudity that may result. However, given that the words are organized by hour of the day (hence the title), as opposed to alphabetically, this should be taken with a grain of salt. [I read it through, and I'm fine…ish]I love words: learning about them, using them, reading them— and, though this wasn't my favorite volume of lexicographic delight, there are some real gems in there. Since I’m short on time, I’ll just give you three terms that I hope to see (hear?) resurrected within my lifetime— they certainly seem relevant these days... Paralipsis is the practice of mentioning that you’re not mentioning something, and saying what you’re not saying (p. 234). The technical term for a dishonest politician is a snollygoster. Well, all right, it may not be the technical term, but it is the best one. The OED defines snollygoster as ‘A shrewd, unprincipled person, esp. a politician’ (p. 9). Ultracrepidarianism is ‘giving opinions on subjects that you know nothing about’, and is thus a terribly useful word (p. 59).

  • Bob Hartley
    2019-04-04 10:28

    I went against Forsyth's suggestion and read this front-to-back, so the only hour I was reading at the appointed time was midnight, when I finished it. I don't care that it's a newspaper endorsed bestseller because the culture sections are heavily opinionated (in the Guardian the report about the new out-of-town wing of the Louvre said it was a mistake) and I don't read them. I also can't be arsed to review it using obscure words because I'm going to bed soon and it's gimmicky.That's the ungimmicky thing with Forsyth though; instead of compiling words and making a book too painstaking to bother with, he comes up with nice themes that are only loosely related to the subject. Obscure words are obsolete given time, so the theme here is times of day. I can't remember all the words, maybe two or three, but there's a glossary in the back if I want to look them up again. It's like he's thought of everything; he even apologises to equatorialists for assuming the average reader lives in the northern hemisphere, where the sun's always in the south and therefore moves clockwise.A good follow-up to Etymologicon. He didn't fuck up.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-24 09:10

    Too many of the words, imo, are jargon still in use by medical and other professionals (but I imagine that's my impression, and the actual count reveals only a few).I do know that too many never were known, and are too long to have ever been in common use. I was hoping for more words simply archaic, and not truly 'lost.' And many of the lost words are synonyms for better words we have now.That being said:Scuddle - to run with a kind of affected haste or precipitation. Fisk - to run about hastily and heedlessly. (Do you want to accuse your colleague of scuddling, or would it be kinder to say she's just fisking?)Guttle - to eat greedily, companion to 'guzzle.'Nullibiquitous - existing nowhere, companion to 'ubiquitous.'"What I tell you three times is true," is apparently from The Hunting of the Snark... I should already know that but I don't, so I'll have to check.(Pratchett fans, look up the Codex Gigas, a real-life big scary book.)

  • Kim
    2019-04-12 13:08

    Mark Forsyth has given us several entertaining books about words, reading, drunkenness, and turning a phrase. He's a committed fan of dictionaries and this book digs deeply into wonderful words, going even beyond the Oxford English Dictionary into old studies of dialects and specialized books on jargon used in some professions.It's the type of book that might best be taken in small bites to learn and take notes, but Forsyth is an interesting enough writer to keep the book entertaining for an end-to-end gulp. To maintain a theme he has divided a day into several parts to collect words into topics like mornings, work, meals, evening entertainments, to bedtime. Many of these words seem like they'd be incredibly useful even today. Take "Uhtceare" (oot-kee-ar-uh) as an example. Uht is an old word meaning the twilight before dawn, and ceare is a word for cares and sorrow. So now you have a word for that mind-wandering restlessness one does while in bed before the sun rises. If you are a person who manages to be cheerful when waking up, even before coffee, you are "matutinal", a useful word for people who, for me, can be quite irritating.Every page is filled with words like this, pulled along with humor by the author. It can almost be overwhelming at times, and I may run through the book again just to make notes on the ones worth making a permanent part of my own vocabulary. It's a great book for any writer or reader who loves finding a new word while reading.

  • Kris
    2019-04-09 14:17

    I love Forsyth's other books, but this one didn't quite hit the mark for me. It felt like it was trying too hard. The last third of the book is definitely the most entertaining, and it did introduce me to the term "wonderwench", which is now the only form of address that I will respond to, so it was worth it. Lovers of words should still read this, but if you are strapped for time, stick with his other two books.

  • ^
    2019-04-24 15:23

    Here is a book subtitled “A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language”; a “papery child of the Inky Fool blog” (2009) ( In 2016, this is a book which might well be thought to be looking for a selling point in 2016. The author emphatically and unsurprisingly recommends a carefully considered reading of his book of weird words for unusual situations, one ‘day’ at a time. Of course he’s right, his aim is to quomodocunquize (make a living).Initially, a swift scanning of the pages by eye bypassed my brain and speedily rendered me into a state akin to hapless confusion as to its purpose. Who needs a book of obsolete English words? Isn’t our vast current everyday lexicon of British English, American English. Indian English, Australian English, Canadian English, NZ English, Caribbean English, etc, words more than perfectly adequate? When delicately savoured, like a gastronomic treat of fresh lobster, this is a fascinating book. Even should those you converse with lose your thread, they surely cannot fail to be impressed by your deipnosophistry. Words which have gone out of usage do so for good reason, don’t they?Forsyth draws attention to Bellibone n. “A woman excelling in both beauty and goodness”: as defined by Dr Johnson. The OED observes that the word “Bellibone” was last used in 1586. I speculated that maybe now the time is ripe to apply “Bellibone” to the ridiculously dangerous Western practice of “size zero” models in the high-fashion industry.Gratingly annoying niggles are relatively rare. One appears on the first page of this book: “There are two reasons that these words are scattered and lost like atmic fragments.” …. “atmic”? “atomic”? “atmospheric”? Overalll, this is a collection of the compulsively unusual; to be dipped-into purposefully, as when seeking the irresistible pleasures of chain-sucking sucking aniseed balls.

  • Kim
    2019-04-20 12:12

    I loved this author's other language book, The Etymologicon, so once I heard about this one I knew I had to read it. This is a different sort of book though and doesn't quite hit the mark. The previous book, as the title suggests, is about the origins behind words, a topic I find fascinating. I like to know why we use words the way we do and how they evolved to current standards. This book though is less about origins, though some are included, and more about obscure and forgotten words for various things. Each chapter is linked to an hour of the day and things associated with that hour. It was a good way of tying together different words and worked well.Overall though this book just wasn't as interesting. There were a lot of funny words but there were also a great deal of words that were just a Latin version of an ordinary word. I find those rather boring as you can take almost any word and translate it into Latin. I'm more interested in the words that sprang from other sources.If you like language I'd still recommend this book but I think you'll have a more enjoyable time reading The Etymologicon.

  • Ron
    2019-04-23 10:32

    Drawn largely from the author’sThe Inky Fool blog, Horologicon explores the varied terminology English speakers have used the last several hundred years to describe the events and things around them. The book’s title refers to the ancient practice of carrying a “book of the hours” with prayers and readings appropriate for reflect throughout the day.Revealing some of the unique and humorous terms would spoiled the fun, besides most of us wouldn’t know how to pronounce many of the words. “Yule hole” was my favorite. That’s the last notch in one’s belt, used (hopefully) only after Christmas.Former colonials from this side of the pond may occasionally puzzle over Forsyth’s English. As Oscar Wilde (or G. B. Shaw?) observed, we’re two nations divided by a common language.Still, a fun read.

  • Nikki
    2019-03-25 10:33

    Somewhat unfortunately, I read this at the same time as the new QI book of 1,227 facts, which included many of the words in this volume, obviously not by total coincidence. It's a fun book, though, with Mark Forsyth's humour as much as or more in evidence than in The Etymologicon. I don't think I'm going to remember many of these words, if any, but they are indeed satisfying and odd, and some of them are undeservedly defunct.

  • Jo Bennie
    2019-03-29 07:33

    A thoroughly entertaining romp through rare and obsolete words that are appropriate for different times of the day. Forsyth arranges his 19 chapters chronologically from waking to turning in for the night, taking the reader from 6am to 12 midnight, from dawn, dressing, breakfast and commute through work, lunch and procrastination to tea time, food shopping, going out and returning home to bed. This book was to me a delight, light and witty in tone but erudite in knowledge. Forsyth readably conveys his passion for words that beautifully express more exactly our daily mundane experiences. Thanks to him I can now confidently forecast that post Christmas lunch my husband will pass out wamble crompt on the sofa, a word that perfectly rolls in the mounth to onomatopoeically speak of overindulgence and concomitant lethargy.

  • Deborah Pickstone
    2019-04-19 15:28

    An amusing look at obsolete English words set in the context of the reader's day. Almost fiction! Very readable and could be used as a reference book too. I love words and linguistics - Mark Forsyth is a very clever man!

  • Kent Winward
    2019-04-19 09:33

    If you haven't read Mark Forsyth, you are missing out. His self-deprecating humor combines with linguistic reveries so that any lover of the language will relish his thoughts. I don't know if I'll be using many of the lost words in this volume in any of my writing. David Foster Wallace did in Infinite Jest when he brought back "eschaton" to describe the tennis academy's Armageddon game. The arcane words are thick and plentiful and if you need a reference book to keep track of ways to say someone is drunk, I can't recommend the book more highly.

  • Veronica Juarez
    2019-03-28 09:37

    I’ve learnt a bunch of out of use English words with this book, unfortunately I can’t think of any other more pompous and well-deserved word than magnificent to describe The Horologycon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language (2012).Complete review on Medium.

  • Stuart
    2019-03-28 09:13

    Audience: Those who love the meaning and origins of words.Summed up in one word: There isn't just one word for this book...there are lots...Author Bio: Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist, proofreader, ghost writer and pendant. After starting his Inky Fool blog, he continued that work into The Horologicon. MF loves etymology and he is a gifted wordsmith!First Impression: I am so happy when I come across books like this. Books that talk about words, books, bookshops or any other interesting subject surrounding the written word are very special to me and this does not disappoint. Mark Forsyth has written 4 books, of which 3 sit on my shelf as I can't get enough of his way with words. This is sort of a serious read, but with all the wit, humour and great words, this book is a blast.Summary:The Tagline for this book is:'A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language'Mark Forsyth maps out our day from waking up at 6am to going to bed at 12am (possibly drunk). With this time-frame MF unveils lots of lost words and phrases of the items/activities/actions we experience everyday. From Aztec to Medieval. From Victorian to the Second World War. These words have lost their places in our modern society, but that does not make them incredibly interesting and worth knowing. Even if it is just to spice up everyday conversation or to confuse/annoy colleagues and loved ones with ancient insults that have amazing and rich history in past cultures.This book begins when we open our eyes in the morning, woken up by one of the various 'expergefactors' that occur in the start of the day. We get ready for work, 'Jenticulate', usually with 'cackling farts'. Once we get to work and avoid all the 'ultracrepidarians', we can ignore the 'Mugwump' and get on with avoiding doing any work. After the visit to the 'fumatorium' and doing as much 'quomodocunquizing' as possible, you the faint sound of 'borborygmi' and off to lunch you go. These are the sort of scenarios and words that you will experience inside 'The Horologicon'. Grab yourself a copy, learn some great old words and have a lot of fun doing so!ReviewContent: As far as content goes, this book has it all. Relevant, important and interesting information, set out in a recognisable and easy going format. Most importantly, this is content that everyone can relate to. As the reader I was amazed, amused and astounded by these words and phrases, their origins and context were just as satisfying and entertaining. (Some origins were sad, horrific or just plain uncool, but they are very scarce.)Author Style: Mark Forsyth lives and breathes the world of etymology. It shows in The Horologicon. The whole time the reader spends with this book, they can sense that MF not only knows his stuff but he has a great time talking about it. The fact that the author is a having a good time while he writes makes this book special. MF's choice to use the outline of a typical day was a great choice and he uses it to good effect. I found that the humour he adds to his writing is the best part of the book, he is funny, witty and he writes great jokes.Accomplishments: This book accomplishes plenty. It teaches fun, old and amusing words to those who want to learn more about them. MF uses context, origins and jokes to make words interesting to people. MF also highlights plenty of actions we perform or items we interact with throughout our day and shines a light on them, explaining the terminology and history of each of the things we usually perform or experience without thinking much about them. For example Pandiculation - The stretching of the arms and body in the morning.Pros: Smart, funny writing. Plenty to learn. Quality writing and decent format.Cons: Not enough....? I had to keep stopping to write these words down :). There is not much wrong with this piece. I have not got the knowledge or the time to go through and fact check this book, so there is the possibility of misinformation. Extras: MF's other books look just as interesting and I will add the reviews when I have finished them. I will just jot down some words from The Horologicon here to give you an idea of the content you can enjoy inside:Plutomania - Frenzied pursuit of money.Nephelolater - One who enjoys passing cloudsBorborygmi - The rumbling noises produced by an empty stomachEructation - BelchingLatibulaters - People who hide in cornersOniomania - Compulsion to buy thingsPerendinate - Put off until the day after tomorrowInterjaculate - Throw in betweenDeipnophobia - Dread of dinner partiesApodysophilia - A feverish desire to undressRating: As a book and word loving fellow, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I do really enjoy any books on words, books, libraries, book festivals, book history and reading, so maybe I am slightly biased. Never the less, read this, enjoy it and use its words in everyday conversation just for the fun of it.9/10

  • Parrish Lantern
    2019-03-28 07:09

    Are you looking for that wonderful gift to present to the individual in your life who appears to have swallowed a lexicon with their mornings repast, and have you been a bit tardy in getting said article? Well fret not here is an awesome nay, Brobdingnagian offering that could easily engender feelings of exuberance and even adoration from said recipient!In his preambulation Mark Forsyth states that this book is for those words that are..“To beautiful to live long, too amusing to be taken seriously, too precise to become common, too vulgar to survive in polite company, or too poetic to thrive in this age of prose.”He goes on to say that these words languish away in old and arenaceous dictionaries, that these are the lost words and the great secrets of civilisations that can still be of use today.What sets this marvellous read apart from your standard lexicon is the method of recording used does not follow the A – Z format. In fact the writer states that by having words arranged alphabetically within a dictionary you render them useless as they bear no relation to their neighbouring words and are estranged from those words they share a relationship with (for example in the Oxford English Dictionary, wine and corkscrew are separated by seventeen volumes). This led the author after hours of rumination and a degree of puttering to fix upon the idea of using the medieval book of hours as his solution to this dilemma, in the process reinventing the reference book for the modern world and it’s constant haste. With this method all one needs to do is to check the time of day via whatever clepsydra you prefer and then by referring to the correct page within this publication - suitable words should avail themselves for your use and the delectation of all within earshot.The Horologicon (or book of hours) is the partner to last years The Etymologicon, and like that wonderful book, uses Mark’s Inky Fool blog, as it’s reference point. Where as the previous work, threaded us through the strange connection that exist between words, The Horologicon, is literally a book of hours, charting the period from just before the moment day-raw streaks red across the sky and guiding us through the day and eventide up until Bulls-noon, where we, having wished bene darkmans to our loved ones, will hopefully be ensconced in our dreamery, asleep in those arms of Morpheus.This was a BBC radio 4 book of the week (read by Hugh Dennis) and was described as: “The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them. Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you're philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That's fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparkling deipnosophist. From Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, this is 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.”Disclaimer.“This is a reference work. You should on no account attempt to read it cover to cover. If you do, Hell itself will have no horrors for you, and neither the author nor his parent company will accept liability for any suicides, rampages, or crazed nudity that may result.” Mark Forsyth.

  • Nafiza
    2019-04-21 10:20

    The Horologicon is a delightful journey through an entire day populated by words that have meandered out of the every day English usage. Forsyth’s tone is cheeky, slightly irreverent and very, very engaging. It is funny because although this is what Louise Rosenblatt would term “efferent reading,” reading The Horologicon doesn’t feel as mentally taxing and as dense as one feel after say, reading something else that demands attention, something that isn’t for fun, per se, but to glean information from. That is the crux of it, I suppose. I read this for fun. English as a language fascinates me because it finds its origins in so many other languages; it borrows words and phrases and appropriates expressions and gives them a twist to make them its own.Forsyth uses the new words in context immediately after he introduces them and this lets the reader get familiar with them and remember them when uses them again later. He cites a large number of sources and credits properly and this illustrates the scope of his research. But perhaps most admirably, he takes a topic that can be very dry and infuses it with sly humour and vignettes that are both fun and illuminates the point being made perfectly.The lost words come from a variety of dialects and are almost always accompanied by their delicious back stories or other tidbits that make them so interesting to read. I had a lot of fun and several laugh out loud moments while reading. This book will be a perfect fit for aspiring writers, lovers of English language and anyone who wants to read a fun piece of literature. I sincerely recommend it.

  • Craig
    2019-03-28 07:30

    *Goodreads First Reads copy*Horologicon certainly helped me 'rediscover' old, obscure terms that can still be used. It was certainly well researched and documented. However, the author seemed not to be able to decide whether he wanted to write a research tool or a humorous book on language. Sadly, I felt he failed on both accounts. The layout of the book, while improving on dictionaries in the sense that it is based on when you may need a certain word, is not fully conducive to quickly finding the right term. I found the difference in typeset between the rare term and the rest of the text to be too miniscule to help in finding these terms. The index only helps if you actually already have an idea of the word you want. Otherwise you still might have to read an entire chapter to find what you are looking for. In terms of a humorous book on language I felt the humor to be boring. I'm sure there are people out there who appreciate the author's sense of humor. For them this just may be a great book. The only thing I found while reading this book was a quick trip to sleep. Twice I found myself falling asleep while trying to read this book. For that fact alone I would recommend it to insomniacs. The one part of the book I enjoyed the most was one of the shorter chapters. Sadly, I didn't learn any new terminology. Through my own job I already knew all of the words. For a book purporting to re-introduce vanishing phrases to the English language, it felt odd the author focused an entire chapter on terminology readily used in today's society.

  • Quiver
    2019-03-27 08:32

    Forsyth likes to hunt through arcane and regional dictionaries for quaint words, which he groups and weaves into a narrative interlarded with outrageous British humour. When he's not making you laugh, he's making apt observations about words and their origins, their denotations, their connotations, and their connections. It's edifying, and it's a window into the different ways a language evolves.Tatterdemalion has the lovely suggestion of dandelions towards the end (although pronounced with all the stress on the may of malion) and should be immediately comprehensible even to the uninitiated, because everybody knows what tatter means, and the demalion bit was never anything more than a linguistic fascinator.If you're a fantasy writer looking to invent whole new worlds (à la Tolkien), you could do worse than seeking inspiration for word-building in Forsyth's book.The Horologicon forms a “trilogy” with The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language and The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase. They can be read separately and in any order, but I do recommend reading them all.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-24 11:10

    The prologue had me old-man-laughing with tears rolling down my face, which was a little unfair. The rest of the book didn't quite stack up to the beginning but it certainly had it's moments. This little tome managed to sufficiently satisfy my craving for dry random humor as well as my liking for wordiness/nearly obsolete words.

  • Henrik Havighorst
    2019-03-29 08:08

    An incredibly humours and worthwhile walkabout through the English language, with interesting explanations, the necessary irony and plethora of sly remarks to make a potentially dry subject a jolly hoot. Absolutely a must-read for fans of language and the English language in particular.

  • Laura
    2019-04-22 11:37

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:The Etymologicon was last year's surprise runaway bestseller. The author has now assembled The Horologicon, or book of hours, to delight his audience with a feast of words appropriate to a precise moment of the day.

  • Catharine Jones
    2019-04-23 14:29

    Really interesting book, discovering new words. Trying to find a way of incorporating uhtceara and snollygoster into my everyday vocabulary!!!

  • Carey Combe
    2019-04-07 07:31

    This a christmas stocking book aimed at those sitting on the loo for a while.... fun but frivolous

  • Seawood
    2019-04-20 08:19

    Quite fun, but recommended in small doses, or you'll feel as dirty and exasperated as if you'd swallowed an entire Stephen Fry in one sitting.

  • Andrea Hickman Walker
    2019-04-16 07:10

    I expected to love this and it did not disappoint. I expect to be reading it (and the etymologicon, of course) regularly until I've memorised all the words it contains. Such wonderful expressions.

  • Paula
    2019-04-08 12:21

    There is an Old English word meaning, "lying awake before the dawn, worrying."So begins The Horologicon. I happened to hear that line read as I was lying in bed around 4:30 in the morning, unable to sleep. I was amused. And hooked. Uhtceare is not a well-known word even by Old English standards, which were pretty damn low. In fact, there is only one recorded instance of it actually being used. But uhtceare is there in the dictionaries nonetheless, still awake and waiting for dawn.Uht (pronounced oot), is the restless hour before the dawn, when Aurora herself is loitering somewhere near the eastern horizon.... [Y]ou should be happily slumbering and dreaming of pretty things.If you are not, if you are lying there with your eyes wide open glaring at the ceiling, you are probably suffering from a severe case of uhtceare.My usual pre-dawn state of being. I relate completely. It's not just the fascination with words, but Forsyth manages to make this book funny and entertaining. While I could never read this cover-to-cover, it would be a fun book to own and pull down from the shelf occasionally, losing yourself for a while when you're supposed to be doing something else.

  • Jon Margetts
    2019-04-20 13:27

    A lovely book within which the charm, erudition and wit of Forsyth's writing shines through to a degree equalling that achieved in The Etymologicon and Elements of Eloquence. In covering hundreds of lost yet inquisitively fascinating words, Forsyth demonstrates a Brysonesque quality of style, magpieing from dictionaries ranging from staple classics like Dr Johnson's and the OED to more obscure dust-gatherers, including tomes covering early 20th century jive culture and the less-hip East Anglian dialects. I'm unsure as to whether the conceit of the book - a record of hours, covering generic activities - is as fitting or compelling as The Etymologicon's circularity, it's difficult to conceive a more fitting way of exploring words; arguably, the arbitrariness of looking at commonplace activities such as getting ready lends itself well to pleasantly surprising the reader with complex, Latin words. Either way, a good read, and proof that any future books by Forsyth should be welcomed heartily.

  • Cassandra
    2019-04-24 12:21

    I listened to this one audiobook and while I really enjoyed it, I think I need the physical book handy for reference! I know I would have highlighted the heck out of this book! It was such fun listening to this as the narrator, Don Hagen, used perfect inflection and tone. I seriously laughed more than one time, much more than one time. Not only at the words, but the writer sense of humor. I like how he set the book up based on the hour of the day and where your typical employee might be during that timeframe. Some say this is not the type of book to read cover to cover, but obviously, as an audiobook, it is listened to that way. I loved listening to it cover to cover, but as stated I would like a tangible copy to reference words as I need them. If you are a lover of words, this is for you. Mr. Forsyth mentions any word, even if the word was only located once in all of history, is fair game. Thank you, Mr. Forsyth, for taking the time to research these words and the time to book them into this format!