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Hello and welcome along to another Friday post to share another brilliant offering from the world of independent publishing! Today I have a review of Around the World in 80 Words written by Paul Anthony Jones, it was published in October 2018 by Elliott and Thompson Ltd and is available to purchase now.


Book Feature:

Description:

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From Monte Carlo to Shanghai, Bikini to Samarra, Around the World in 80 Words is a whimsical voyage through the far-flung reaches of the English language.

What makes a place so memorable that it survives for ever in a word? In this captivating round-the-world jaunt, Paul Anthony Jones reveals the intriguing stories of how 80 different places came to be immortalised in our language.

Beginning in London and heading through Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas, you’ll discover why the origins of turkeys, Brazil nuts, limericks and Panama hats aren’t quite as straightforward as you might presume. You’ll also find out what the Philippines have given to your office in-tray; what an island with more bears than people has given to your liquor cabinet; and how a tiny hamlet in Nottinghamshire became Gotham City.

Surprising and consistently entertaining, this is essential reading for armchair travellers and word nerds. Our dictionaries are full of hidden histories, tales and adventures from all over the world – if you know where to look.

 

My Thoughts:

I’ve been a fan of this author ever since I discovered his book The Accidental Dictionary in 2016, and have enjoyed the books that have followed. For those who don’t know who Paul Anthony Jones is, he is the man behind @HaggardHawks on Twitter and http://www.haggardhawks.com which pulls together blogs, quizzes, newsletters, a Youtube series and details of his books full of etymological delights. I would recommend checking out the website and the Twitter page, each day there is a new forgotten word posted each day.

In this latest offering, the author takes readers on a wonderful literary journey without them having to leave the comfort of their own homes. Around the World in 80 Words informs and educates readers about the names of 80 destinations that have been absorbed into the English language, and are so commonly used that we might not give them a second thought.
I love the way that this book can be picked up and flicked through without having to follow each chapter as you would with an “ordinary” book. This is a fascinating read, and the author has evidently put a lot of time into researching the material, his passion for etymology pours from the pages and it’s almost infectious. I had no idea of the origins of phrases such as being sent to Coventry, and you can be sure that Paul Anthony Jones takes great delight in sharing this knowledge. It also leaves the reader feeling that wonderful sense of having learned something new, you almost feel like you want to attend a quiz night, just in the hopes that a question may come up so that you can use your new knowledge.

This would make the perfect stocking filler for fans of etymology, I’ve already bought a copy to wrap as a Christmas gift.

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Hello and happy Friday!  And you all know what Friday brings, yes,  its time to share another post to celebrate Indie Publishing and this time it’s Elliott & Thompson in the spotlight!   Today the book being featured is The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities by Paul Anthony Jones.


Description:

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A whole year’s worth of linguistic curiosities, just waiting to be discovered.

Within these pages you might leap back in time, learn about linguistic trivia, follow a curious thread or wonder at the web of connections in the English language.

1 January quaaltagh (n.) the first person you meet on New Year’s Day

1 April dorbellist (n.) a fool, a dull-witted dolt
12 May word-grubber (n.) someone who uses obscure or difficult words in everyday conversation

25 September theic (adj.) an excessive drinker of tea

24 December doniferous (adj.) carrying a gift

Paul Anthony Jones has unearthed a wealth of strange and forgotten words: illuminating some aspect of the day, or simply telling a cracking good yarn, each reveals a story. Written with a light touch that belies the depth of research it contains, this is both a fascinating compendium of etymology and a captivating historical miscellany. Dip into this beautiful book to be delighted and intrigued throughout the year.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Forgotten words are something of a fascination for me, actually if I’m honest, words in general are a love of mine.  I was that kid who kept a notebook of my favourite words, ones that sounded exciting or mystical, words that were funny to pronounce or just ones that I liked the look of written down.  I think I still have some of the notebooks somewhere, and occasionally I read something and think that I should start a new notebook to collect the new words I’ve found.  But then  I discovered the books bu Paul Anthony Jones, and now there’s someone out there making a book of words for me to enjoy!

Like most readers, the moment I got hold of this book I instantly went to see what word appeared on my  birthday, it’s just one of those things you do isn’t it?

hiemate (v.) to spend the winter

Derived from hiems, a Latin word for ‘winter’, hiemate is a seventeenth-century word meaning to spend or see out the winter.

What does seeing out the coldest season of the year have to do with a date at the height of summer? Well, despite the fact that the summer solstice typically takes place around 20–22 June – so that from now until the end of the year the nights are drawing in – today’s date is linked to an unfortunate incident in global exploration that led to the mutiny and death of one of England’s greatest explorers.

In April 1610, Henry Hudson set sail on his fourth trans- atlantic voyage, hoping to locate a long-sought-after easterly route through the Arctic and on to Asia. Sailing north to Iceland and Greenland, Hudson’s ship Discovery reached the Labrador
Peninsula on the far east coast of Canada in June, and from there sailed into a vast, open bay. Believing they had found the fabled Northwest Passage, Hudson spent the following months carefully mapping the bay’s shoreline – but as winter set in, no passage to Asia ever materialised. Before long the Discovery had become trapped in the ice and her crew were forced to head to the shoreline to see out the winter on land.

During the long Canadian winter, discontent began to grow among Hudson’s crew and the following year they mutinied.
When the ice retreated and the Discovery was freed, on 22 June 1611, Hudson, his teenage son John and a handful of loyal crewmembers were set adrift in a small, open-topped boat. They were never seen again.

Hudson’s fate remains unknown – but the vast bay he dis-
covered, and into which he was eventually cast adrift, still bears his name to this day.

Learn something new every day eh?

The best things about this book, and indeed the other books by Paul Anthony Jones is that you can dip in and out of them at your leisure to unearth some wonderful treasures.  If you don’t want to check up each day for the particular word, why not head to the index and randomly pick one?  For instance, lunette or yule-hole and then flick to the corresponding page to find out what they mean.  This was something I particularity enjoyed, then reading them out to my bemused husband after quizzing him on what he thought they might mean.  There were also a few that had us giggling like scugways or beaglepuss, the words themselves just funny to say and then finding out the meanings just made us smile even more.  The discovery that I could be classed as a theic did give us a laugh too.

I would say that this is the perfect book for fans of language, people who thrive on knowing the unique meanings of words, the origins and the history of phrases. I would thoroughly recommend this book, and it would probably make a great Christmas present (just in case you’ve started to think about shopping).

It’s obvious that a lot of time and effort has gone into the research for this book, each nugget of information has an explanation to go with it and a beautiful image of an ornate key.  It’s the small things that capture the eye sometimes, and although not small, the cover is exceptionally beautiful.  It needs to be seen to be fully appreciated, as do each and every one of the entries in this awesome book.

I think it’s safe to say that this is a book that I will be returning to regularly throughout the year and perhaps be appearing on my top books of 2017.

 

You can buy your copy of The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

** My thanks to the lovely Alison Menzies and the folks at Elliot and Thompson for my copy of this wonderful book and for taking part in Celebrating Indie Publishing **

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Published: 13 October 2016
Reviewed: 30 November 2016

5 out of 5  stars

Copy supplied by Elliott & Thompson

 

Description:

How well do you know your words?

Buxom used to mean obedient
A cloud was a rock
Raunchy originally meant dirty

Brimming with hidden histories and tantalising twists, The Accidental Dictionary tells the extraordinary stories behind ordinary words.

Our everyday language is full of surprises; its origins are stranger than you might think. Any word might be knocked and buffeted, subjected to twists and turns, expansions and contractions, happy and unhappy accidents. There are intriguing tales behind even the most familiar terms, and they can say as much about the present as they do the past.

Busking, for instance, originally meant piracy. Grin meant to snarl. A bimbo was a man, nice meant ignorant, glamour was magic and a cupboard was a table…

Focusing on 100 surprising threads in the evolution of English, The Accidental Dictionary reveals the etymological origins and quirky developments that have led to the meanings we take for granted today. It is a weird and wonderful journey into words.

So, let’s revel in its randomness and delight in its diversity – our dictionary is indeed accidental.

My Thoughts & Review:

I never thought I would see the day that I would be reviewing a dictionary.  Dictionaries are books that live on the shelf, usually forgotten about and only ever used to win a game of scrabble or to settle an argument over the spelling or meaning of a word.  With the advancements in modern technology, we no longer need to know how to spell, we have gadgetry that does that for us – be it smartphones, computers etc.  But this dictionary is different, instead of the ubiquitous ‘aardvark’ at the beginning, we begin with the word ‘affiliate’ and explore the original use of the word all the way to the current uses in a light and carefree tone.

What struck me most about this book is the fact that some of the words contained within the beautifully designed covers are ones we use everyday and few of us know the true meanings of these words.  Take for instance, ‘fetish’, it originally meant ‘talisman’, the author takes care to research the first uses of the word to ensure accuracy as well as making this a very interesting read.  I particularly enjoyed ‘Tiddlywink’, ‘Ragamuffin’ and ‘Refrigerator’, words I would never have considered to have any other meaning that the ones we know of today.

This is the perfect book for fans of language, people who thrive on knowing the unique meanings of words, the origins and the history of phrases.  I would thoroughly recommend this book, it’s a fascinating read and one that you don’t have to read all in one sitting to appreciate it.  In fact, I dipped in and out of this one over the course of a week, reading a few entries at a time means you don’t feel bogged down with information  but still appreciate the time and work that went into this book.   The writing is humorous, but clear and concise.

Probably one of my favourite books this year and one that I will be sure to return to many times.

You can buy a copy of The Accidental Dictionary here.

 

About the Author:

Paul Anthony Jones was born in South Shields in 1983. He is the author of four books: ‘The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer’ (2012); both ‘Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons’ (2013) and its sequel, ‘Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire’ (2014); and language fact book ‘Word Drops’ (2015). ‘Haggard Hawks’ has since been featured in both The Guardian and The Huffington Post, and has spawned its own popular word-related Twitter account, @HaggardHawks, which was named one of Twitter’s best language accounts by Mental Floss magazine in 2014. The daily word and language facts of the @HaggardHawks account inspired ‘Word Drops: A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities’, published by Elliott & Thompson in April 2015.

Besides his interest in etymology and language, Paul is also a classically trained pianist. He lives in Jesmond in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he drinks far too much coffee and reads far, far too many books.

Courtesy of Amazon

 

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