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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight
This is great fun for those who are interested in unusual words, even though there is, I think, a slight padding out. By my reckoning at least, some ten words out of the 105 listed here beginning with the letter A are not really all that unusual. But this must be a somewhat subjective judgment. Some 73 of the words under A I had never come across, and that's a pretty...
Published on 6 Nov 2007 by Ralph Blumenau

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too much of a Scrabble list
I love unusual words, and this (and its follow up Foyle's Further Philavery) is the kind of book I would expect to love. However it falls short of that for me. Some of the words are not really that unusual and an educated person would probably know, but the much bigger issue for me is that I would like to see more words which you might have a finite chance of actually...
Published on 21 Aug 2011 by E. L. Wisty


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight, 6 Nov 2007
By 
Ralph Blumenau (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
This is great fun for those who are interested in unusual words, even though there is, I think, a slight padding out. By my reckoning at least, some ten words out of the 105 listed here beginning with the letter A are not really all that unusual. But this must be a somewhat subjective judgment. Some 73 of the words under A I had never come across, and that's a pretty good score for this beautifully produced book. Would make a lovely present for a philaveryphile!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too much of a Scrabble list, 21 Aug 2011
By 
E. L. Wisty "World Domination League" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
I love unusual words, and this (and its follow up Foyle's Further Philavery) is the kind of book I would expect to love. However it falls short of that for me. Some of the words are not really that unusual and an educated person would probably know, but the much bigger issue for me is that I would like to see more words which you might have a finite chance of actually using in a lifetime, rather than simply words you might only ever have a chance of using in a game of Scrabble. Examples: piki - a bread made from maize meal by the Hopi Indians of the South Western USA; galliard - a lively dance in triple time for couples, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Funnily enough, Foyle says in his introduction that his mother-in-law coined the word "philavery" whilst the two of them were playing Scrabble, which is perhaps a bit of a giveaway.

I far more enjoyed the witty Superior Person's Book of Words series of books to these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Set now complete!, 5 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
I was given "Foyle's further Philavery" and "My Philavery" for my recent birthday, so I wanted this volume to complete the set. Not a book for everyone, it is a collection of less-familiar English words which might come in useful - or might not!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foyles Philavery, 15 April 2009
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
This is a really good book, full of obscure and fascinating words. Its also fun and a useful tool in getting reluctant readers to enjoy the power of words, it has been an excellent incentive in my family just by inserting one of the words in a text message knowing that the younger elements of the family will go and look it up in the Foyles. Wouldn't be without it now.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An idiosyncratic collection of (fairly) uncommon and pleasing words, 17 Mar 2008
This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
When I saw this advertised, I felt slightly ashamed that I had no idea what a `philavery' was.... It turns out I needn't have worried: the word was invented specifically to describe this book: "Philavery /fil-a-vuh-ri/ n. an idiosyncratic collection of uncommon and pleasing words."

The book is the result of years of word collecting by the author, Christopher Foyle, chairman of the famous Foyles bookshop in London. The `uncommoness' of the words included in the volume is defined by Foyle; as such many words in the philavery are familiar to me. Indeed, he states in the introduction that the US commander of the first Gulf War described information with little value as "bovine scatology". The author admits he had to refer to a dictionary to discover the meaning of scatology, which surprised me as I would not personally consider it an unusual word. The same goes for fabiform, exsanguinate, factitious, chino and countless more. Some words, such as `halcyon', were included not because they are particularly unfamiliar, but because of their fascinating etymologies.

In all, this would make a great gift with its attractive design and quality of production. And whilst the criteria for inclusion in the philavery seems somewhat spurious, and certainly subjective, this is a 230-page book full of obscure, quirky, fun, poignant words, so even if you know some of them already, there is still plenty to delight and inform word lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A logophile’s delight, 11 April 2014
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Iain S. Palin (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
This is a collection unusual words, all of them genuine, most of them not in common use but asking to be dropped into a conversation or e-mail. Readers will know some of them, but not too many I suspect. Flipping through it I discovered, for instance, that I am a ruptuary (though not a rube) and am also – appropriately enough – somewhat palinoiac. The Philavery is a “loo book”, one that you dip into when you have a minute or two rather than try to read cover to cover. It’s fascinating and it’s fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the logophile in your life, 27 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
Philavery, noun: a collection of unusual words chosen for their aesthetic appeal. And that's exactly what you get with this book. It's a collection of unexpected and little known words that will please and delight you, the ideal gift for people who used to like 'Call my Bluff' or the outrageous definitions of 'Meaning of Liff'. Scrabble fans will especially find lots to salivate over!

Aside from the fascinating content, it's also a beautifully produced book with a lovely William Morris-esque front and decent quality paper within the covers (increasingly a rarity these days). My only tiny quibble is that some of the words it lists are a little quotidian.

Overall - it will make an ideal gift for the logophile in your life :o)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 30 Dec 2010
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D. Isaac - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
This book is fabulous, a collection of odd words which have all but disappeared from the English language. This book should be on every coffee table up and down the country in order to help bring back interesting words, like 'discombobulation', to regular use! We have bought many copies for friends and family and have a lot of fun guessing the definitions, or throwing a certain word into a sentence and seeing if the other person can decipher its meaning, fantastic for brain teasing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 17 April 2010
This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
Very informative and good fun. You will have lots of laughs playing guess the meaning of some of the words a great one for all the family both young and old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 July 2014
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This review is from: Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words (Hardcover)
Present for Christmas - good if you like things like this, my son loved it.
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Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words
Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words by Christopher Foyle (Hardcover - 27 July 2007)
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