[PDF / Epub] ★ The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language Author Mark Forsyth – 91videos.co

This was amazing Granted, I m a word nerd, but this was really paced and organized in the most charming way, while still teaching me so much about common phrases and sayings Forsyth is really clever and witty, and erudite on top of it all It s a rare book that will make me chuckle and also teach me valuable and new words Such a fan of this one. There can be few better recommendations for any book than that you continuously feel the need to read excerpts out to those around you, no matter what they are doing or what else they are trying to read themselves Oh, this one is great Just this one and I ll stop Ah, wait, this one is really good too I ve only felt the need to do this with two books this year this one because I was really enjoying it, the other because it was just so ridiculous in places The Etymologicon is a book of words Well, technically all books are books of words except picture books , but this one is about words, words and phrases The origins of wordsspecifically Each chapter digs into the origin of a word or phrase, starting with the phrase a turn up for the books , and exploring it s meaning, it s origin, other words or phrases that share the same origins and wandering around in a sort of a rambling conversation that is interesting, funny, and by chance also educational Somehow, like that word game in the newspaper, Forsyth starts the chapter with one word and manages to wind the conversation through to end on another, explaining his train of thought as he goes This final word, then becomes the starting word for the next chapter.Some of the chapters about two thirds of the way through feel a little short and rushed, but in the main each chapter gave me something to annoy Louise with The final chapter contains the clever twist in the tail, ending as it does with the start phrase of the first chapter Neatly closing the loop.A short review, because I really can t think of much I didn t like about this book, so my complaints are minimal Absolutely recommended even if you have only ever had a passing wonder about language and where some of ouresoteric parts of that language come from. The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller And RadioBook Of The Week In Paperback For The First TimeWhat 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 I m sorry to say that as time went on I found this book very boring It is written in a serpentine fashion, with the origin of one word slipping kind of seamlessly into the origin of the next, and it is written in a rather chummy down the pub kind of languagewhen John grew up he began telling people that they were naughty and chucking them in a river Now if you or I tried a stunt like that we d be brought up by the police pretty sharpish But John got away with it and, if you can believe it, was considered rather holy for all his attempted drowning Chaps at the time called him John the BaptistYou get the flavour But, but, but I am very alone in my disparagement The reviews from most people have been glowing, with an average GR rating of 4.25, so don t let my curmudgeonly views put you off.I did find the author had some flashes of brilliance, and snips like the following particularly interested me Bazil II a Byzantine Emperior who reigned from 976 1025 ruthlessly conquered the peoples of southern Bulgaria In the north of the country they were subjudicated by the Holy Roman Empire So many Slavs were defeated and oppressed that the word Slav itself became interchangeable with forced labour, and that is where we get the world Slave In 1996 Jim Kardach developed a system that would allow mobile telephones to communicate with computers At the time he was reading a book about Vikings, set in the reign of King Harald I of Denmark, or Bluetooth as he was commonly known He was given this moniker because he had blue teeth, or perhaps black teeth Kardach nicknamed his invention Bluetooth , and eventually the name stuck There are some words where we have lost the use of the basic word, and now just use its opposite.Feck. FecklessReck RecklessRuth RuthlessExorably. InexorablySalt was infinitelyvaluable in the ancient world than it is today To the Romans salt was white, tasty gold Legionaries were given a special stipend just to buy themselves salt and make their food bearable, this was called the salarium and it s where we get the English world Salary , which is really just salt money All in all though I can t recommend this book I read it at bedtime, and it took me forever Far from being the sort of book which kept me reading greedily into the wee hours, night after night I would find that two pages would knock me out like a sleeping pill. As someone who really loves words and their meanings and histories I can t say enough how much I loved this book I did not want it to end and now I want to findbooks just like it Some things I knew but I learned a lot The joy is in finding them out so I won t give any away on here This book was great from start to finish and for anyone with a love of words it is a must read. A quite wonderful little book.This got onto my long list because of these glowing reviews from James, Nikki and Paul.As James says There can be few better recommendations for any book than that you continuously feel the need to read excepts out to those around you, no matter what they are doing or what else they are trying to read themselves Oh, this one is great Just this one and I ll stop Ah, wait, this one is really good tooI did the same myself, at length.Did you know that avocados are testicles And we re all part of the human gene chicken And that if you called a Nazi a Nazi they would beat you up And that the Bluetooth on your phone is a Viking I read this on my lunchbreak, devouring the bitesize chapters along with my canteen spam n chips and I couldn t wait to get home and tell my wife the funny little snipped that had stuck in my mind that day.Each mini chapter delves into the amusing anecdotes that lay behind everyday words, and end by linking that word on to a new word which will be the focus of the next chapter.Great idea flawless execution five stars from me If you are hungry for a feast of mildly interesting linguistic factoids with which to gorge yourself and potentially vomit all over everyone around you, never fear this book offers a bounteous buffet In the introduction, Forsyth admits that the reason the book exists is to give him an outlet for all of his rambling and useless etymological knowledge, so that he need not continue to torment acquaintances with it Unlike me, he says, a book could be left snugly on the bedside table or beside the lavatory opened at will and closed at will Much as I have tried, I ve never succeeded in eliciting anything other than barely patient looks when I ve launched into did you know that salary comes from a word meaning salt type pedantry Someday I will meet someone who cares In the meantime, this book helped me build up my trivia arsenal a word which, Forsyth tells me, comes from the Arsenale di Venezia, a dock in Renaissance era Venice where ships were built and repaired.The scope of this book is fairly broad a lot is crammed into these 250 engrossing pages Many of my personal Greatest Hits of Etymology can be found here Every meaning of the word check in English can be traced back to its meaning in chess, an old Persian game called shahs kings, of course , which ended with the phrase shah mat the king is dead filtered down to English as checkmate We sing do re mi etc because of an old song about St John that went Ut queant laxis resonare fibris Mira gestorum famuli tuorum etc., with a melody where each opening syllable climbed the scale one tone at a time Ut was later changed to do , for domine , because it sounds ridiculous to hold a note singing uuuuuuuuhhhhhtttt Hocus pocus is a mockery of the Latin phrase Hoc est corpus meum , this is my body, which Catholics believed actually physically transformed a hunk of bread into the corpse of Jesus Assassin is related to the word hashish , in reference to a medieval cult of hitmen so proficient and determined that everyone assumed they were all on dope.I had come across these etymologies before it seems I ve read a lot of these types of books over the years , and found them fascinating, and so reading this was a welcome chance to groove to the oldies once again The Etymologicon doesn t just cover familiar ground, however There are plenty of smash hit new singles in here as well New to me, anyhow For instance, I never knew that the rolling stone which proverbially gathers no moss is actually a gardening implement, a rolling stone, used to make your yard nice and flat Bob Dylan sounds much less hip when you realize he was singing about gardening.Another one I liked the term Nazi was a German insult long before any Nationalsozialisten showed up It was a nickname for Ignatius , a common Bavarian name, and everyone knew Bavarians were ignorant hicks Nazis therefore really hated being called Nazis Forsyth compares the situation to a hypothetical right wing party that called itself Red States for the Next America obviously, everyone else would call them the RedNex.And further testifying may actually refer to putting your hand on your own or someone else s testicles, to ensure I don t know that you have a dudely, and therefore truthful, disposition I suppose that might help to explain why for much of history women weren t allowed to testify in courtAnd there are so manyFilm buffs originate from buffalo , computer bugs refer to the bogeyman , the term cyberpunk etymologically means well governed homosexual , and the oil company Shell really did go into business initially to sell seashells possibly by the seashore.This review barely scratches the surface This is one of the best, most extensive, and by far the most humorous, etymology books I ve read Your friends will hate you for it Highly recommended. This is like stand up comedy about etymology I absolutely adored it The book had me laughing within the first five minutes, and from there I was frequently giggling with quite a few bouts of raucous laughter There is no real discussion of the science of etymology like you would find in McWhorter s books, but the same amount of passion is there It is the most aptly named work of nonfiction it really is a circular stroll One thought about a word flows seamlessly to the next and all the sudden you realize that while the discussion was about Pocahontas, you are know learning that, etymologically, pumpernickel means devil fart I listened to the audiobook which was marvelously performed, but I did find that if my mind began wandering on the farty origins of the word petard, then I would lose my place in the book and have to go back about 30 seconds and regain my listening composure it was that fast paced.I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants a good laugh, lovers of language and you are all bookish people, so I assume this applies to all of you , and to those people that love knowing all the weird and strange tidbits of information. Linguistic RefreshmentThe well of English wit at times seems inexhaustible both as culture and as language The Etymologicon is one such time It is the Oxford English Dictionary transcribed into precise short stories Joyce s Finnegans Wake explained Samuel Johnson s Dictionary annotated and Wittgenstein s Red and Blue Books vindicated Words connect only to other words and nothing else But this makes themnot less useful It means that meaning can be entirely in our heads Not in any single head but in our head of indeterminate size And evenremarkably, a head of indeterminate age All of us who share a language, or a language into which our language may be translated inhabit that head.We know that language had a beginning somewhere in the sequence of genetic development called evolution But no one knows when that was Nor, as in the impossible search for the missing link between Homo Sapiens and lesser hominids, could we ever tell when the first word was ever used Language, like the universe, always appears eternal The head looks like it has always been.That is until someone with the wit of a Mark Forsyth comes along and demonstrates that language only appears eternal because it is entirely circular not just in theory but as an historical certainty It goes round and round in infinite loops of self reference which are fascinating, unpredictable, and, well there s no other word for it, entirely self willed The head is both within us and beyond us It thinks its own thoughts and has its own direction, possibly even its own purpose.Indeed, I think what Forsyth demonstrates, intentionally or not, is that different languages have different personalities In particular, English is a gregarious magpie which enjoys rubbing up against any other language at all, nicking the shiniest bits, and then hiding them with fake vowels and camouflage consonants English, not to put too fine a point on the matter, is the slut of the linguistic world Modern psychology doesn t even begin to touch the strangeness contained in the head of the English language.Although there s no logical reason not to, The Etymologicon is not something to be read from beginning to end This would be the obsessive equivalent of reading the Encyclopaedia Brittanica from A to Z I find that by delving randomly when bored or when words are becoming tiresome, the book unaccountably provides just what is needed to bring me back into that wonderfully isolated world of words and me, back inside my head. Words are the strangest of things And that is because they aren t really things at all Not things, at least, with fixed and final essences They change and they morph and they even turned into their own opposites in ways that things generally don t Well, unless they are caterpillars and butterflies butterflies even rate a mention in this wonderful and endlessly amusing book You are going to have to get hold of this, you know.We ve become fooled, you see, by the OED the fact you can look up what a word means tends to fool us into believing that words have meanings, when in fact they basically get their meanings from their relation to all other words in the language Another book I m reading at the moment says that words are empty jars which we fill with meaning as we becomeaware of the world.There was a time when I was convinced that candid would come to mean hidden This was because virtually the only use of the word in the modern world was associated with the phrase smile, you re on candid camera and the main fact about being on candid camera was the reveal at the end, when it was made clear that there was a hidden camera filming you So, a candid camera was a hidden camera this now is one of the meanings of the word in the OED It would be interesting to test people of a certain age to see if they would belikely to say candid meant hidden than frank You know, frank gets its meaning here from the idea of belonging to the Franks and therefore being free in the same way that slave originally meant being in servitude due to being a Slav I ve a feeling that even the historical meanings of words we don t know about impact on our understanding of their current meanings I know that seems daft but take the word develop, which comes from the Old French for to unfold and how develop means something quite different in English than change As this book tells us there are no true synonyms in any language how could there possibly be Did you know that a trolley in Greek is metaphor Did you know that clich is a printing term and is onomatopoeic Why does T S Eliot translate the call of the rooster in The Waste Land into Italian Co co rico co co rico English roosters don t say that at all V K Ramachandran makes the fascinating point that certain words have their meanings due to our universal synesthesia I can t remember the exact words he makes up, but he talks about a pretend language from Africa which has words for an object with pointy spikes and another object with soft, round curves Why is it that we are muchlikely to guess the word zizek belongs to the sharp object and bomba to the soft one I mean, this is a language that doesn t even exist And is this part of the reason why i ek is the kind of philosopher he is Pointy and sharp, rather than soft and curvy The fact that there is a kind of rightness to words, a rightness to their sound and their feel in your mouth, is a very odd idea Saussure talks about the arbitrary nature of the sign, but there are limits to how arbitrary the sign can really be.My favourite swearword in Italian is cacasentenza a boring and pedantic person but literally one who shits in sentences Caca is one of those almost synesthetic words It means the same in English as it does in Italian, although in English we say Cack or cacky I ve often wondered if khaki which the OED defines as dust coloured, brownish yellow also comes in a roundabout way from excrement There are jokes in this book too my favourite was the one about Bach and his twenty children, which I ve now told twice and will tell manytimes, I suspect There are also little asides that almost invariably made me smile if not laugh in that particularly pleasing way that a clever and witty aside invariably forces me to do This whole book except perhaps for the introduction which people might find a little over done or overwrought is a pure delight You need this book It is something that is good for your soul It will dothan just make you smile It will also get you to make that sound we all make when we learn something that seems almost too good to be true You know the one a mixture of get out of here and oh, yes Pure magic.