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The Etymologicon Audiobook

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

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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

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (13 )
5 star
 (7)
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4.4 (12 )
5 star
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Story
4.7 (12 )
5 star
 (9)
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Performance
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  •  
    Eleni 09-21-16
    Eleni 09-21-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really and I mean REALLY enjoyed this"

    I was absolutely hooked through out the book. The fun part was that I just couldn't resist pausing and "sharing" my "word-discoveries" with my husband, my best friend or my colleagues depending who was around

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
Sort by:
  • Lukas
    Sunne, 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 :)


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Swing Swang
    UK
    8/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A delightful linguistic meander"

    A delightful meander through the backwaters, rivers and rapids of the English language. This book will enthral and fascinate wordsmiths and students of English language. Beautifully narrated. A real joy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating insight into the links between words"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Etymologicon to be better than the print version?

    I've only listened to the audio version, but found the narration engaging


    What did you like best about this story?

    The linkage from one word or idea to the next produced such an unusual trip through the english language


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

    The sense of his passion and enthusiasm for the subject really came through


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for anyone who enjoys the thoughtful use of words

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    LEICESTER, United Kingdom
    2/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love love love it"
    What did you like most about The Etymologicon?

    Very amusing and very interesting. I especially loved the way it ended, thought it was genius really. The anecdotes did make me giggle out loud and look silly, but it was worth it. Definitely.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • steve
    Rainham, United Kingdom
    1/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Witty and fascinating."

    Witty and fascinating as well as erudite. I loved every minute of it. A highly recommended read.

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "great book"

    Great book really interesting learning where the words I know and use come from would recommend it also has loads of humour in it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    Hexham, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "The Etymologicon"

    What a wonderful romp through how the meanings of words in our current vocabulary have developed over centuries. The history, development and useage of the words flow into a fascinating, often comical historical narrative, which Simon Shepherd narrates with great enthusiasm. A fun way to learn more about our linguistic heritage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J. Doe
    Surrey, England
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Deep and Interesting History of Words and Phrases"

    Simon Shepherd masterfully narrates this tale of the English language with enough colour and life so as to never let any person tire of it. The listener is taken on a wondrous adventure, covering many regions of the world. I don't know if the pronunciations of some of the more foreign words were always as correct as they could be, but Shepherd tackles them with a confidence which inspires the listener to believe that's how they were always intended to sound. Lovers of language and etymology would do themselves a disservice by missing out on this journey.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miranda
    Glastonbury, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Delightful way to explore the English Language"

    This is just wonderful. I've listened a few times, because there is a lot of information within these witty words. I chuckle quite often, and feel all the better, and a little more learned, for having listened to it. Possibly not one for a serious academic - but a lighthearted one might pick up a point or two. Each section of the book is rather like taking a walking tour of the linguistic highlands alongside a word nerd with a well developed sense of humour.



    There is the section on "Concealed Farts." In a nineteenth-century dictionary, the author found this definition for 'fice': "A small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged [blamed] on their lap-dogs..... And fice itself comes from the Old English fist, which likewise meant fart. In Elizabethan times a smelly dog was called a fisting cur, and by the eighteenth century any little dog was called a feist, and that's where we get the word feisty from. Little dogs are so prone to bark at anything that an uppity girl was called fiesty, straight from the flatulent dogs of yore. This is a point well worth remembering when you're next reading a film review about a 'feisty heroine.'"



    Laugh and learn (even though the facts may err on the side of the trivial) - it's the best way to do it =)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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