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The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language | [Mark Forsyth]

The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

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4.7 (6 )
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  •  
    Akshay London, UK 07-17-12
    Akshay London, UK 07-17-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating subject might not be for everyone"
    If you could sum up The Etymologicon in three words, what would they be?

    witty, educational, British


    What does Simon Shepherd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wry British humour


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • max
    london, United Kingdom
    6/7/12
    Overall
    "Very good"

    A very good mix of knowlege, humour and interest. I didn't mind missing parts because I can listen again.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Will
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom
    1/6/13
    Overall
    "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!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Dunbar, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Eva
    Co. longford, Ireland
    2/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect in so many ways."
    Any additional comments?

    I have dipped into this several times since I finished it, it's a lovely way to have a 'short listen'. I'm surprised how well-suited the subject matter is to the audiobook format.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • margaret mclaren
    scotland
    12/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"
    What did you like most about The Etymologicon?

    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.


    What about Simon Shepherd’s performance did you like?

    Easy to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't normally listen to non fiction, but i really enjoyed this book and will look for more by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Balor of the Evil Eye
    Éire
    8/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Parris
    Epsom, UK
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Book"
    If you could sum up The Etymologicon in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, Interesting, Brainstorming


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It made me think that if they taught etymology in schools, we would have a head start when it comes to learning foreign languages.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dawn
    CUPAR, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend The Etymologicon to anyone with an interest in language.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Dunfermline, United Kingdom
    12/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"
    Would you listen to The Etymologicon again? Why?

    Listening to this book is just like a journey but of words. It links words to other words from their roots.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This book is all about words not characters.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The whole book is a joy. It starts and carries you along.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really a moving book but highly interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    A highly unusual book which combines history and wods. Worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lukas
    Vintrosa, Sweden
    10/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All the things you didn't know you wanted to know"
    If you could sum up The Etymologicon in three words, what would they be?

    This truly is a ramble that stakes out two unlikely cousins and then tracks them back to their common root.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are no characters to follow, perhaps the English language is the only thing we follow.


    What does Simon Shepherd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I would probably have stumbled over many words had I tried to read it myself. Here I even get help with the latin words ;)


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

    A perfect book to keep you happy if you have a long roadtrip, keep you from falling asleep while driving, or simply put you in a good mood with some random facts to give you a great start to a working day :)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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