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Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words | [Phil Cousineau]

Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words

Who knew that the great country of Canada is named for a mistake? How about "bedswerver", the best Elizabethan insult to hurl at a cheating boyfriend? By exploring the delightful back stories of the 250 words in Wordcatcher, listeners will be lured by language and entangled in etymologies. It takes a special wordcatcher to create a treasure chest of remarkable words and their origins, and any word lover will relish the stories that Cousineau has discovered.
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Publisher's Summary

Who knew that the great country of Canada is named for a mistake? How about "bedswerver", the best Elizabethan insult to hurl at a cheating boyfriend?

By exploring the delightful back stories of the 250 words in Wordcatcher, listeners will be lured by language and entangled in etymologies. Author Phil Cousineau takes us on a tour into the obscure territory of word origins with great erudition and endearing curiosity.

The English poet W. H. Auden was once asked to teach a poetry class, and when 200 students applied to study with him, he only had room for 20 of them. When asked how he chose his students, he said he picked the ones who actually loved words. So too, with this book - it takes a special wordcatcher to create a treasure chest of remarkable words and their origins, and any word lover will relish the stories that Cousineau has discovered.

©2010 Cleis Press (P)2011 Cleis Press

What the Critics Say

"Cousineau takes us into the obscure territory of word origins with great erudition and endearing curiosity." (Writer's Journal)

"Phil Cousineau is a word wizard and his book, Wordcatcher, is a delightful adventure into a magical world. As I read his amazing etymological explanations of words from eldritch to floccinaucinihilipilification to lagniappe, I begin to understand why the Bible says 'In the beginning was the Word.' Phil has made clear that words don’t merely describe reality. They create it." (Deepak Chopra)

"Stake out a claim next to the standard dictionary you use for this less pedantic companion. It contains fewer words but sends up Fourth of July skyrockets on all of them. But caveat emptor, readers beware! Cousineau’s love affair with words is contagious and you are likely to end up lovesick with words yourself." (Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions and Tales of Wonder)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (14 )
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3.9 (12 )
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4.0 (13 )
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Performance
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  •  
    erobbins33 08-25-15
    erobbins33 08-25-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    89
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wordcatcher to be better than the print version?

    I think I would like to have both. The audio edition is helpful, in knowing how the words are pronounced, but I'd like to have this ebook, as well, for reference.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are no characters, just facts and quotes. I'm a word lover, so I really enjoyed all of the quotes.


    What about Jack Chekijian’s performance did you like?

    I was impressed with his ability to pronounce all of these words!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Wonder- I felt wonder at the sheer volume of huge words.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is for lovers of words. It's an alphabetical compendium of wonderful words, along with their roots and definitions. Not written like a dictionary, but rather interspersed with quotes and quips from everyone from Shakespeare to Buffy the vampire slayer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Wade 08-21-15
    K. Wade 08-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Full of fun new words"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wordcatcher to be better than the print version?

    I think the audio edition is a bit better as you hear the word pronounced.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wordcatcher?

    I really enjoyed learning the new words. I was pleasantly suprised to know several words covered.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No real scenes in this book


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction, just enjoyment.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like words, this book is a good choice. The narrator does a good job of pronouncing the words and reading the definition.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan United States 07-01-15
    Jan United States 07-01-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    166
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    394
    200
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Get your word geek on and enjoy!"

    A verbally illustrated compendium of only 250 chosen words not simply defined and contextualized, but expanded and expounded upon. Where did it come from? How has it been used? Who has used it in a way that has made it noteworthy in some fashion? Listen to this exploration of verbosity performed by the dependably articulate Narrator Jack. His well-modulated voice gives life and variety to this presentation.
    This book was a gift to a bibliophile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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