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Publisher's Summary

The Horologicon - which means 'a book of things appropriate to each hour' - follows a day in the life of unusual, beautiful, and forgotten English words. From the moment you wake to the second your head hits the pillow, there's a cornucopia of hidden words ready for every aspect of your day.

Do you tend to lie in bed before dawn worrying? Then you have the Old English ailment of uhtceare. Uhtceare can lead on to dysania (inability to get out of bed) and other zwoddery problems, which many have suffered but few can name.

From encounters with office ultracrepidarians, lunchtime scamblers, and six o'clock sturmovschinas to the post-work joys of thelyphthoric grinagogs and nimtopsical nympholepsy, Mark Forsyth, author of the Sunday Times number one best seller The Etymologicon, unearths words that you didn't even know you needed. From antejentacular to bedward by way of nuncheon, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.

©2012 Mark Forsyth (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Penguin
  • 04-07-13

Wonderfully funny and informative

This book is an absolute treat - so good that I'm seriously thinking of buying a paper copy as well. It's a fantastic, idiosyncratic collection of rarely (or never) used English words, organised into a 'book of hours' or Horologicon - so that there are words related to getting up, breakfast, going into the office etc. It's very tongue-in-cheek and the only issue with it is that I usually buy audiobooks to help me get off to sleep, but I don't want to miss a word of this one!



Simon Shepherd does a wonderful job of reading it too, although it would have been helpful to have a few more spellings and a few less 'word - pronounced 'word'' given that this is an audio book and he's obviously already just pronounced it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • steven
  • 12-06-13

amusing and informative, great combination

Would you listen to The Horologicon again? Why?

I would, because its very funny and full of strange facts about the history of English words. It is an entertaining listen for someone who loves learning and likes a chuckle whilst doing so.

What did you like best about this story?

how everything relates to each other. the circle of learning idea is a brilliant one. the end takes you right back to the beginning making it easy and very temping to re-listen straight away.

What about Simon Shepherd’s performance did you like?

he was easy to listen to and had a charming way of dishing out the information to the listener.

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

It made me laugh. I had to hold back large smiles when walking in public though, so as not to make someone thing I was crazy.

Any additional comments?

This is a great book for people who love learning new things and new words too.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 03-11-15

Great fun and brilliantly read

superb reading brings the book to life, even the list at the end reads like poetry

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • 02-24-13

just no

Not as good as The Etymologicon which was fantastic.

Bought this book to get more from the author but wasn't interested in old words that no one has ever used

Didn't finish it

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-18

Great book

Well written and very funny. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys quiet humor.

I have The Etymologicon on standby but decided on this one first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Abhishek Lahoti
  • 08-08-18

hilarious!

a riot of educational fun that I enjoyed every minute of! wonderful presentation and clever inclusion of daily life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • crochetdiva
  • 07-12-18

Well worth a listen!

Simon Shepherd is wonderful as the narrator of this fascinating, and very funny, book. In an almost Stephen Fryesque way he leads us through the brilliant book of words and phrases that, sadly, hardly seem to get a mention in these modern times. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people listen, a few of them may come back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MR MICHAEL J BAILEY
  • 06-20-16

Wonderfully done!

A brilliant way of introducing us to so many beautiful words and phrases! My copy skipped a few times while listening to it on my phone so not sure if there was a problem with the download but I still loved every second!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ZylinR
  • 06-19-16

Really good

Everything about this is brilliant. Humour, interest, pace and narration.
It's a must have for anyone who enjoys learning about history and the English language whilst having fun.
I strongly recommend this and Mark's - at present - two other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Dawson-bowling
  • 08-12-14

Fabulous marriage of jolly dry wit & etymology

What made the experience of listening to The Horologicon the most enjoyable?

I loved the hour-by-hour description of humdrum modern life in the context of archaic words, and indeed habits, that never quite lasted the test of time. Dry witty delivery too.

Any additional comments?

The only slight oddity is I don't think the editing has been brilliantly done. There are times where Shepherd restarts a sentence clearly thinking the editing team would cut out the version where he hesitated but in fact where the listener... but in fact where the listener experiences a weird duplicate sentence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful