A quirky, entertaining and thought-provoking tour of the unexpected connections between words, read by Simon Shepherd. 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.
©2012 Mark Forsyth (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
witty, educational, British
Wry British humour
The subject matter itself is quite dry - it's the history of words & phrases in the English language. Some may find that knowing the origin of the word "heroin" might not be worth their time or Audible credit (it was a trademark by Bayer for a cough syrup). But for language & history buffs, this is a great investment of your time & money.
A very good mix of knowlege, humour and interest. I didn't mind missing parts because I can listen again.
"Brilliant and hilarious book"
Despite listening to this book 3 times over now I still am at a loss for the correct words to describe just how much I love it! Etymology can often be a dry subject but Mark Forsyth shows a real love and appreciation for the neglected words of our language. I was surprised at how how funny this book is and immediately had to down load his second book The Horologycon which was just as interesting and just as funny :) Can't recommend them highly enough!!
"Words, words, words."
I really loved this book and the way it entwined words and their meanings together in a witty and sometimes intricate way. Anyone who enjoys tv programmes like Stephen Fry's QI will enjoy the trivia and references to our social, cultural and geographical history. I particularly took pleasure when words which I have always taken for granted suddenly took on new meanings and I had many eureka moments with the realisation of where these meanings came from. My only frustration; kept on having to pause and rewind, as the associations between words and their meanings moves through the text (you know what I mean) at some pace, I was still absorbing the previous paragraph when the equally interesting next section being narrated.
An excellent volume, well done Mr Forsyth.
It's a book you can dip in and out of easily. There is always something new to learn. Entertaining at the same time. You can easily imagine the author dropping these thoughts into general conversation.
Easy to listen to.
You could do if you wanted. I enjoyed it most because you could put it down for a while and pick it up again without having to start at the beginning again.
I don't normally listen to non fiction, but i really enjoyed this book and will look for more by this author.
"Informative, well-researched and witty."
This is one of those titles that provides the listener with endless fodder for appearing well-educated when chatting with friends in the pub. The origin of words is often a very interesting topic; this publication proves, as so many other books on etymology have, that what you believed something meant was actually wrong. The changes in the accepted meaning of words, or, indeed how they are changed to fit human bias or assumptions (burnsides to sideburns is a good example), is well illustrated here - memes abound! The creation of a concatenation of words to show the change in their meaning from their origin is quite successful and often illuminating.
The narrator has a prissy, English accent, perfectly suited to the subject matter and quite good for delivering the witty asides that punctuate the book.
Fascinating, Interesting, Brainstorming
It made me think that if they taught etymology in schools, we would have a head start when it comes to learning foreign languages.
Fantastic Book that I originally bought as a paperback for a flight to the USA, after the flight I found I wanted to finish the book - but had no time to do so, so I reverted to the audio book and have been amazing my friends with random bits of trivia ever since. For me the book of the year so far.
I would definitely recommend The Etymologicon to anyone with an interest in language.
The author takes your on a fascinating tour of the english language and circles all the way around to where he began in a really amusing way. Each chapter very neatly segues into the next with fun and surprising connections between words that most people wouldn't expect.
The only bad thing about this audiobook was that I could have gone on listening for weeks and I was pretty disappointed when it was over. It definitely could have been longer. Fingers crossed there will be a sequel!
"A circular tour de force"
This book is simply outstanding.
I challenge anyone with half an ounce of love for the English language not to be carried away in the engaging musings of Mark Forsyth. The research that must have gone into the book is impressive enough, but Forsyth's turn of phrase woven into genuinely fascinating subject matter is a real winner.
Simon Shepherd brings a personal quality to the narration that carries the whole thing along at a pace and with an energy that is captivating.
The only down side is the sense of loss when you finish.
"Witty, entertaining, and allows you to show off!"
The conversational writing style immediately makes you feel like you're having a fascinating conversation with a close friend.
It's not really a story as in fact it's a circular ramble through the origins and meaning of words we use both everyday and rarely, but I do love linking French chickens to the group ferrying of children to school.
Well he's really voicing the character of the author Mark Forsyth but he does it with warmth and charm and I enjoy listening to his voice as much as the words he is saying
It's not that kind of book but I did get funny looks on the train as it's regularly laugh out loud
I like this book so much I think I'm a little in love with the author so I think it's definitely worth a punt if you like something a bit different and often find yourself thinking 'I wonder why it's called a proving ground?' or 'Why do we say Dutch courage are they particularly drunken or cowardly?' although you may also want to get out more...
This book was even better than expected. Having been taken by a sudden urge to find out the meanings of word, I was glad to do so in such an entertaining manner. Narration was excellent, engaging and enjoyable.
Such a good book I got a paper copy for reference and bookmarked the inky fool blog.
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