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The Etymologicon A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language by Mark Forsyth

The Etymologicon A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language

The Real World   Books of the Month   
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July 2013 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

Etymology is the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history and this potentially ‘dust dry’ topic has been brought brilliantly to life by Mark Forsyth in this Sunday Times Number One bestseller - and Radio 4 Book of the Week. Now in paperback for the first time. Full of so many fascinating facts, this book is as addictive and potentially time wasting as ‘Fruit Ninja’ to David Cameron!


The Etymologicon A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language by Mark Forsyth

What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces? The Etymologicon springs from Mark Forsyth's Inky Fool blog on the strange connections between words. It's an occasionally ribald, frequently witty and unerringly erudite guided tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the English language, taking in monks and monkeys, film buffs and buffaloes, and explaining precisely what the Rolling Stones have to do with gardening.


'This year's must-have stocking filler - the angel on the top of the tree, the satsuma in the sock, the threepenny bit in the plum pudding, the essential addition to the library in the smallest room is Mark Forsyth's The Etymologicon.'
Ian Sansom Guardian

'I'm hooked on Forsyth's book - Crikey, but this is addictive'
Matthew Parris The Times

'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 Etymologicon contains fascinating facts'
Daily Mail

'From Nazis and film buffs to heckling and humble pie, the obscure origins of commonly-used words and phrases are explained.'
Daily Telegraph

'One of the books of the year. It is too enjoyable for words.'
Henry Coningsby Waterstones Watford

About the Author

Mark Forsyth

Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist, proofreader, ghostwriter and pedant. He was given a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. In 2009 he started the Inky Fool blog, in order to share his heaps of use-less information with a verbose world. He is also the author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon, and its successful sister volume, The Horologicon, both published by Icon Books.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th September 2012


Mark Forsyth

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Icon Books Ltd


272 pages


The Real World
Books of the Month

Language: history & general works



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