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540 Reviews
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194 of 197 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Mark Forsyth's meanderings through the English language are carried off with a panache that frankly leaves other etymological 'dictionaries' looking dry, dusty and rightly shelf-bound. Indeed, the fact that the book starts with the phrase "a turn up for the books" indicates exactly that; this is not a reference book, but a new, unique and often hilarious way of drawing...
Published on 3 Nov. 2011 by Miranda Tempest

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars opinions rather than research
The Etymologicon was entertaining enough for the first page or so, but it soon becomes evident that there are no sources or references to back up what Mark Forsyth 'believes' to be the origin of a word. Given that he aims the book at people interested in the origins of language, it is a shame he didn't credit his readers with enough intelligence or interest to follow...
Published 7 months ago by Amanda


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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual style but entertaining. Most of the entries are ..., 8 Aug. 2014
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Unusual style but entertaining. Most of the entries are formative, some too brief but one can forgive him that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for word lovers, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Hardcover)
i bought this as a stocking filler for my son in law who is a serial wordsmith. He loved it so it must be good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars irresistible, 26 Feb. 2012
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J. M. Currie (Sallisbury, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Hardcover)
I am so glad I found a review of this book or I might have missed a gem! great fun, erudite and unputdownable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read, 24 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Hardcover)
A very entertaining book full of all the things you didn't know but will enrich you life once you know them !
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Etymologicon, 29 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Hardcover)
Excellent, real scholarship very lightly worn. It is hard to put it down, can be dipped into at any point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars it has been monopolised by her husband who doesn't like books (usually), 28 Dec. 2014
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Bought as a present for a relative, it has been monopolised by her husband who doesn't like books (usually)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly rivetting, 1 Sept. 2014
I am sure even my review title has a hidden meaning that could mean something else. Wow what a read!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words, words, words, 30 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Etymologicon (Audio CD)
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The writer jokes that he had to write this book to stop him terrorising innocents at dinner parties with his amazing (scary) knowledge of words, their connections and origins. Well, I'd love to get stuck beside him at dinner. In fact, I'd even break the rule of a lifetime and go on a long cruise if it meant spending time in his company.

Yes, he is a smarty-pants-know-it-all, but what he knows and how he deliverers it is so interesting and done with such wry humour that you can't help but want more. In this regard the reader (not the author) does a great job in conveying the tone just right - always engaging, never patronising - that this is an audiobook I'll listen to again and again. I was babbling like a idiot to friends and colleagues trying to retell the fascinating and funny links between words that eventually I just recommended that they buy the book for themselves. Bets of the year so far, by far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and good fun., 28 Aug. 2013
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A book to pick up or down whenever you wish - I have also bought 2nd copy for a gift for a friend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Etymologicon, 1 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Hardcover)
A highly entertaining read if you like learning strange and fascinating facts and the origin and evolution of words, for dipping into or getting carried away and reading it hungrily in one go as I did. Though I had come across some of the derivations before it was interesting to know that some of them were down right wrong. It is in hardback but could have done with a dust-jacket if you are going to lend it to friends or read it with sticky fingers [as you do]. When it arrived I was a bit disappointed at the size, which is small, but the print is quite big, fine if your eyesight is a bit dodgy, but a feeling that it's a bit padded out if not. So my main criticism is that for the price there should be more of it. However it would make a smart little gift for a word enthusiast. As for me, I'm off to the author's website so I can hoover up a few more gems.
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