Philip Gooden - Author

About the Author

Philip Gooden is the author of The Guinness Guide to Better English and the editor of The Mammoth Book of Literary Anecdotes.

Featured books by Philip Gooden

Other books by Philip Gooden

May We Borrow Your Language? How English Steals Words From All Over the World

May We Borrow Your Language? How English Steals Words From All Over the World

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/09/2017

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Arawak, Cantonese, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Inuit and Erdu - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele. May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.

May We Borrow Your Language? How English Steals Words From All Over the World

May We Borrow Your Language? How English Steals Words From All Over the World

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2016

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Sanskrit, Algonquian, Cantonese and Hawaiian - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele. May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.

May We Borrow Your Language?

May We Borrow Your Language?

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 03/11/2016

The English language that is spoken by one billion people around the world is a linguistic mongrel, its vocabulary a diverse mix resulting from centuries of borrowing from other tongues. From the Celtic languages of pre-Roman Britain to Norman French; from the Vikings' Old Scandinavian to Persian, Sanskrit, Algonquian, Cantonese and Hawaiian - amongst a host of others - we have enriched our modern language with such words as tulip, slogan, doolally, avocado, moccasin, ketchup and ukulele. May We Borrow Your Language? explores the intriguing and unfamiliar stories behind scores of familiar words that the English language has filched from abroad; in so doing, it also sheds fascinating light on the wider history of the development of the English we speak today. Full of etymological nuggets to intrigue and delight the reader, this is a gift book for word buffs to cherish - as cerebrally stimulating as it is more-ishly entertaining.

Skyscrapers, Hemlines and the Eddie Murphy Rule Life's Hidden Laws, Rules and Theories

Skyscrapers, Hemlines and the Eddie Murphy Rule Life's Hidden Laws, Rules and Theories

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/09/2015

What is the shade of difference between Sod's Law and Murphy's Law? What is the Helsinki Bus Station Theory? What part do the McNaughton Rules and the Miranda Law play in criminal justice? Plenty of books claim to tell you how to succeed in life, love or business with infallible sets of guidelines and self-help principles, but have nothing to say about the laws - often hidden ones - which really govern our lives. Skyscrapers, Hemlines and the Eddie Murphy Rule is an anthology of the many quirky, useful or entertaining rules and principles, which, if they are well known, crop up without explanation or, if confined to specialist circles, deserve to be more widely understood and appreciated. Here is a deliberately diverse scrapbook of the attempts to provide a system and an explanation, whether serious or humorous, eccentric or plain mischievous, for human activity across politics, science, sport, economics, the Internet, work, and life itself.

The Word at War World War Two in 100 Phrases

The Word at War World War Two in 100 Phrases

Author: Philip Gooden, Peter Lewis Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

War words have embedded themselves in our collective psyche; British politicians are fond of invoking the 'Dunkirk spirit' whenever the country is faced with major crisis or even minor adversity, and Roosevelt's famous description of Pearl Harbor as 'a date which will live in infamy' was echoed by many US commentators after the 9/11 attacks. So far, so familiar. Or is it? How many of us know, for instance, that 'Keep Calm and Carry On', far from achieving its morale-boosting aim, was considered at the time to be deeply patronizing by the people it was directed at, and so had only limited distribution? The Word at War explores 100 phrases spawned and popularized in the lead-up and during the conflict of World War Two. Substantial essays explore and explain the derivations of, and the stories behind, popular terms and phraseology of the period, including wartime speeches (and the words of Churchill, Hitler and FDR); service slang; national stereotypes; food and drink; and codewords.

Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases

Idiomantics: The Weird and Wonderful World of Popular Phrases

Author: Philip Gooden, Peter Lewis Format: eBook Release Date: 30/06/2013

Idiomantics is a unique exploration of the world of idiomatic phrases. The very etymology of the word 'idiom' reveals what's so endlessly fascinating about the wide range of colourful phrases we use in everyday speech: their peculiarity. They're peculiar both in the sense of being particular or unique to the culture from which they originate, and in the sense of being downright odd. To cite three random examples - from American English, Dutch and Italian - what on Earth are a snow job, a monkey sandwich story, and Mr Punch's secret? Fascinating and illuminating, Idiomantics explains all...The ideal gift for word buffs and in fact, anyone who enjoys a good yarn, this playful book looks at 12 groups of idioms around the world, looking at subjects such as fun and games, gastronomic delights and the daily grind.

Pale Companion

Pale Companion

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2012

Third in the entertaining adventures of Shakespearean actor and sleuth, Nick Revill. It is midsummer in the year 1601. Nick Revill and his fellow actors of the company known as the Chamberlain's Men are journeying across the Wiltshire Downs for a country-house presentation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It should be a pleasant well-paid jaunt to celebrate a noble marriage, but instead the players find themselves in the midst of a tense family atmosphere, somehow linked to the presence of the household's sinister steward. Very soon Nick finds that the Dream has turned into a nightmare, where murder appears commonplace, and before too long he must fight to save his own life against the ancient backdrop of Stonehenge...

Honourable Murderer

Honourable Murderer

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2012

It's the summer of 1604 and the Spanish are in London. Many years after the ill-fated Armada, they are negotiating a peace treaty with the English. Nick Revill's acting company is given a ceremonial role at the celebrations. But not everybody welcomes this outbreak of peace. In the shifting world of the court there are factions. In the Tower of London sits that implacable enemy of the Spanish, Sir Walter Raleigh, and he has friends on the outside who may try to sabotage the negotiations. Nick, meanwhile, is trying to get on with his playing. Invited by Shakespeare's rival, Ben Jonson, to take part in a masque at Somerset House where the Spanish are lodged, Nick is caught up in a conspiracy. During a rehearsal the courtier Sir Philip Blake dies an apparently accidental death when he tumbles from a 'Deus ex machina' chair which is lowering him to the stage. But this is only the first of a series of suspicious deaths, and Nick must look for the murderer among those around him. And Nick has other distractions besides. There is his growing attraction to his landlady, the widowed Ursula Buckle. And then there is that new French girl at the Mitre brothel...

Mask of Night

Mask of Night

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2012

When the Black Death strikes London, all the theatres are closed down by order of the Privy Council. The Chamberlain's Men, the theatre company Nick Revill is part of, takes up an invitation to play in Oxford. However, it seems that the plague has followed them - but not all deaths are as they seem.

Alms for Oblivion

Alms for Oblivion

Author: Philip Gooden Format: eBook Release Date: 25/10/2012

On a foggy morning in 1602, a boyhood friend of Nick Revill arrives in London. When Peter Agate announces that he wants to try his hand at acting, what can Nick do but offer him a part with his own company, the Chamberlain's Men, who are putting on a private production of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida for the lawyers of Middle Temple.Yet within days Peter Agate is dead, stabbed to death at Nick's lodgings - the beginning of a sequence of violent deaths, each somehow implicating Nick himself. To avoid the hangman's noose Nick must discover the real murderer among a cast of suspects, including an aristocratic brother and sister, a troublemaker from a rival company and an ex-actor who once saw the Devil himself on stage...

Death of Kings No 2

Death of Kings No 2

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2009

Elizabeth I is nearing the end of her reign with no direct heir and plots and rumours of rebellion abound. The Queen's former favourite, the Earl of Essex, appears to be eager to protect the throne, but some believe he intends to seize it. In the world of the theatre, the Chamberlain's Men are approached by a member of Essex's inner circle. He offers them money to put on a special performance of Shakespeare's Richard II - the treasonous drama of monarchy deposed and murdered. And player Nick Revill finds himself forced to act as a government spy and keep watch on his own company. But then the murders start... Praise for Philip Gooden: 'Highly entertaining.' Sunday Times 'Welcome to Elizabethan England where... Gooden will give you a gratifying taste of the danger and excitement of that lusty place and time.' Publishers Weekly

Faux Pas? A No-nonsense Guide to Foreign Words and Phrases in Everyday Language

Faux Pas? A No-nonsense Guide to Foreign Words and Phrases in Everyday Language

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/07/2007

Winner of the HRH Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union English Language Book Award 2006. An award winning language book, this is a lively and engaging expose on the foreign words and phrases that populate our language. Each entry gives a translation of the expression, the language of origin, pronunciation, an insightful comment on usage, plus illuminating examples from the press. A Pretentiousness Index will help you avoid committing the ultimate faux pas(!). If you have ever been bamboozled by the use of a foreign word or phrase, or simply want to spice up your vocabulary with some well chosen bons mots, then this is the book for you. Thousands of foreign terms have been absorbed into the English language from the everyday (kowtow) to the relatively obscure (auto-da-fe). Faux Pas? focuses on familiar terms and expressions as well as those that are new, curious or amusing.

Who's Whose? A No-nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words

Who's Whose? A No-nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2007

Who's Whose? is an entertaining and straightforward guide to the most commonly confused words in English today, with real examples of good and bad usage to make differences crystal-clear. The Embarrassment Rating involved in each mistake is included, together with an explanation of why the confusion happens and how to avoid it in the future. So if you mistrust (or distrust?) your spellchecker and want to maintain or improve your written English, this is the perfect companion for you.

Faux Pas A No-nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases from Other Languages

Faux Pas A No-nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases from Other Languages

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/10/2005

If you have ever been bamboozled by the use of a foreign word or phrase, or simply want to spice up your vocabulary with some well-chosen bons mots, then this is the book for you. Thousands of foreign words and phrases have been absorbed into the language and are currently used in English, from the everyday (macho, tete-a-tete, spaghetti) to the relatively obscure (ultra vires, auto-da-fe). Faux Pas focuses on familiar terms and expressions as well as those that are new, curious or amusing. Each expression is 'translated', with an indication of its language of origin and pronunciation, a comment on its usefulness and a Pretentiousness Index.

Who's Whose? A No-nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words

Who's Whose? A No-nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words

Author: Philip Gooden Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/10/2004

The English language is a minefield, full of words that look alike and sound alike but mean different things. If you mistrust (or distrust?) your spellchecker and have ever been fazed (or phased?) by the difference between enquire and inquire, or complementary and complimentary, this is the perfect companion for you.

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