Mark Forsyth produced one of the funniest and most informative Christmas bestsellers last year, with The Etymologicon. This year sees his follow up in The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language.
As given away in this book's subtitle, The Horologicon gives you an insight into the forgotten words that would be used from waking in the morning to sleeping at night and are separated up into chapters such as Dressing and Breakfast, After Work and Stumbling Home. Here's a few of my personal favourites:
Culf - "...the name of the bed fluff that has lodged in your navel.
Pogonology - "the study of beards"
Apple Catchers - "roomy knickers"
Ultracrepidarianism - "giving opinions on subjects you know nothing about."
Sardonian - "One who flatters with deadly intent."
Vespertilionize - "To convert in to a bat." (I have been trying to find an excuse to use this word all week!)
Mark Forsyth's previous book was great fun and a massive success but in my opinion this follow up is even better! The way it's separated out into times and sections makes the amount of information you're reading far easier to absorb. It's also makes it perfect for people who want something easy to dip in and out of. His brilliantly bouncy style of writing gives the impression of being completely effortless and almost makes you feel like you're reading something a friend has written for you. The only annoying thing about it? The fact that I spent days afterwards going 'there's a word for that...I just can't remember it.' The curses of having a terrible memory. The book itself is laugh out loud funny as well as IQ boostingly full of information, not a pairing that's easy to pull off but Mark Forsyth seems to do it effortlessly.
Buy The Horologicon by Mark Forsyth from Waterstones here.