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The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World Hardcover – 29 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 1st edition (29 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140515615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140515619
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.3 x 18.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'The Meaning of Tingo' may well prove to be the must-have British stocking-filler for 2005 -- The Economist, 24 September 2005

...a luscious list of linguistic one-liners -- Daily Express, 1 November, 2005

...a pleasure to dip in to. -- Sunday Telegraph, 2nd October 2005

...compulsively perusable -- The Times, 22 September 2005

...destined to be the Eats, Shoots and Leaves of the autumn. -- The Independent, 26th September 2005

A book no well-stocked bookshelf, cistern-top or handbag should be without. -- Stephen Fry

I liked the inventiveness of the Spanish curse "may all your turkey's feathers turn into razor blades" -- Steven Poole, The Guardian, 15th October, 2005

From the Author

Many English speakers admit to being lazy both at home and when travelling in their reliance on English as the pre-eminent international language and I feel that in this multi-cultural age we live in we should embrace the joy, glory and wonder of foreign words and expressions. English is unquestionably a great language but I suppose what I am saying is ³don¹t be surprised there are many others.²

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hanafuda on 22 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
This book if full of weird and wonderful words and gives some insight into other nation's thought processes. It is let down by inaccuracies. The Dutch word 'aardappel' claims to be literally a 'hard apple', whereas it actually is an 'earth apple', cognate to the French 'pomme de terre'. So read it for the fun of the thing, but don't take it seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Portes on 24 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There seem to be lots of books on language around. This one is not compelling. Read English in 100 Words by David Crystal or The Horologican by Mark Forsyth instead.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scardy Cat on 28 Mar 2008
Format: Hardcover
A wonderfully light and uplifting read. Great for the loo, waiting rooms or sharing with a friend over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. The author has found some wonderfully obscure and diversely interesting examples of lingual communication, which often embarress the native speakers who deny the existance of these words - just because you haven't heard them doesn't mean they have not been heard before. The origins and roots of the English language would not be recognised by modern English speakers, even today some of my English friends admit to needing an interpreter when they travel to Scotland and Italian friends of mine from the Mountain regions of Italy do not understand a word of my Roman Uncle's Italian and speak with him in French or English, neither deny the authenticity of the other. I love this book. It broadens the vocabulary and the mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Miller on 27 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for a friend whose job takes him around the world and would have liked to keep it for myself. A list of different ways to say "Hello" and lots of handy phrases in a multitude of languages. A nice tactile book..
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John on 30 Nov 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author doesn't seem to appreciate that there is more to understanding a langauge than looking words up in dictionaries. He is clearly no linguist.

I know the book is supposed to be fun, but many entries are either wrong or misleading.

And whoever did the proofreading should be sacked.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Swift on 28 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book for the first time couple of days ago and I can't understand why it gets such rave reviews. To me, to such a books sounds like a good idea, but when you actually produce it you get bored after the first few pages. I know its not meant to be read through at one go, but for me it's just a Xmas stocking filler book that you give some one when you can't think of anything else to give them - everybody feigns delight when they get it but are bored within seconds if they actually read it. It's a miss in my book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very happy with my purchase: delightful book full of insights and quirky expressions from all over the world. Promptly delivered, perfect conditions. Buy with confidence
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By jema on 25 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heard about this book on Radio 4 and immediately ordered it. I speak a few languages and have always been fascinated by expressions that exist in one language and not others as the concepts they express are often linked to cultural dufferences and local habits. The book is fascinating.
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