- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Icon Books Ltd; First Edition edition (3 Nov. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848313071
- ISBN-13: 978-1848313071
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (642 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language Hardcover – 3 Nov 2011
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'I'm hooked on Forsyth's book ... Crikey, but this is addictive' - Mathew Parris, The Times, October 13
'One of the books of the year. It is too enjoyable for words.' - Henry Coningsby, Bookseller
'The Etymologicon, contains fascinating facts' - Daily Mail, October 24
'Kudos should go to Mark Forsyth, author of The Etymologicon ... Clearly a man who knows his onions, Mr Forsyth must have worked 19 to the dozen, spotting red herrings and unravelling inkhorn terms, to bestow this boon - a work of the first water, to coin a phrase.' - Daily Telegraph
'The stocking filler of the season... How else to describe a book that explains the connection between Dom Pérignon and Mein Kampf, ' - Robert McCrum, The Observer
'A perfect bit of stocking filler for the bookish member of the family, or just a cracking all-year-round-read. Highly recommended.'
- Matthew Richardson, The Spectator, 15 Nov
From the Author
Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist and blogger. Every job he's ever had, whether as a ghost-writer or proof-reader or copy-writer, has been to do with words. He started The Inky Fool blog in 2009 and now writes a post almost every day. The blog has received worldwide attention and enjoys an average of 4,000 hits per week.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The writer takes you on a whirlwind journey through a series of words and historical facts, ingeniously linking each one to the next. There's a fair amount of schoolboy humour, so perhaps not one to buy for someone who doesn't appreciate references to codpieces, but this all adds to the fun (who would have guessed that feisty came from a word meaning "fart"?)
It was very difficult to read this without smiling, both at the jokes and with the joy of discovering new and useless scraps of information.
Mark Forsyth publishes the Inky Fool blog in which he looks at the derivation of words, but links one to another in a humorous ramble through the English language. Mark is one of those lucky bloggers who's blog has now become a book, The Etymologicon, and I have to say, it makes for a very good read which I've been dipping into over the last week.
Its probably better to illustrate Mark's methods with an example than to describe them. For example, in a chapter headed A Game of Chicken Mark describes how in medieval France people used to gamble by putting money in a pot then throwing stones at a chicken until someone hit it. This was the game of poule, which is French for chicken. Later on, the pot of money in the middle of a card table came to be known as the poule and this term was picked up by English gamblers who changed the spelling to pool.
We read on to learn the forward connections to the game of pool and then to pooling money, and resources and then onto typing pools and car pools and ends with pointing gout that we have all become part of the gene pool "which, etymologically, means that we are all little bits of chicken".
I was surprised how in order to get his connections Mark has to link words from all the European languages.Read more ›
I bought it and I digested it but was, I'm sorry to say, left with something of the feeling etymological indigestion.
I suppose the best way to describe this book to anyone would be to say that it reads like a poor internet blog or facebook posting that has been put onto paper.
However in this case that's sort of somewhat unfair since the book grew out of the InkyFool Blog written by Mark Forsyth which is, in my view, far more enjoyable than the book.
Don't misunderstand me. The concept of this book is brilliant but I felt that the brilliance didn't make it across into actuality.
For me, it's biggest failings are it's shallowness of explanation, it's grasshopper need to leap from word to word often without no immediately obvious reason and it's overall simple 'too smart by half' approach.
This is not a book for sitting down and reading since your brain will have turned to jelly before you're a tenth of the way through. Rather this is a book for the smallest room, or as I refer to it, a 'dip in and out' book for when there is just enough time to waste an idle moment but not enough to read more than a page or so of a more engaging book.
I'd have loved to have given The Etymologicon stars but I felt that in all honesty I simply couldn't.
If you enjoy words and their origins then I'd suggest rather that you visit the Inkyfool blog and read the basis for this book from it's source instead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd give this 4.6 stars if I could.
I absolutely loved it, the authors tone and style is brilliant all the way through making this an engaging read. Read more
Great way to start the year. This book is eminently readable: I love the way he ties it all together.Published 9 days ago by dennis ej
Delightful, surprising, surprisingly funny - I laughed aloud a lot. Thoroughly recommend.Published 20 days ago by wildreader
Cannot stop reading... perfect for people who love words, probably suited to QI fans tooPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I couldnt get past page 3 where Forsyth writes about 'a poultry sum' [sic] with a story about chickens and the root in 'poule', French for chicken. Read morePublished 1 month ago by G.C.Allen
Love way this book is written, and the interesting background and meanings to everyday words.
Cleverly researched, or so I assume :), and kept me interested from first... Read more