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The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
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The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  958 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized.

Find yourself pretending to work? That’s fudgelling.

And this could lead to rizzling, if you feel sleepy after lunch. Though you are sure to become a sparkling deipnosopbist by dinner. Just don’t get too vinomadefied; a drunk dinner companion is never appreciated.

The Horologicon (or book of hours) contains the most e
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Icon Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 02, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr Forsyth does it again. If you liked the Etymologicon , or you're just the kind of person who likes tons of out of use or foreign words for everyday things, liberally sprinkled with dry British wit and jokes about being drunk or going to the toilet, then this is the book for you.

Whereas the Etymologicon was a roundabout trip through a sequence of words, each one linking to the next. This is the Horologicon: the book of hours. Each chapter is dedicated to an hour in the life of the mythical, i
Bob Hartley
Jan 23, 2013 Bob Hartley rated it really liked it
I went against Forsyth's suggestion and read this front-to-back, so the only hour I was reading at the appointed time was midnight, when I finished it. I don't care that it's a newspaper endorsed bestseller because the culture sections are heavily opinionated (in the Guardian the report about the new out-of-town wing of the Louvre said it was a mistake) and I don't read them. I also can't be arsed to review it using obscure words because I'm going to bed soon and it's gimmicky.

That's the ungimmi
Mar 10, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Drawn largely from the author’s The Inky Fool blog, Horologicon explores the varied terminology English speakers have used the last several hundred years to describe the events and things around them. The book’s title refers to the ancient practice of carrying a “book of the hours” with prayers and readings appropriate for reflect throughout the day.

Revealing some of the unique and humorous terms would spoiled the fun, besides most of us wouldn’t know how to pronounce many of the words. “Yule h
I loved this author's other language book, The Etymologicon, so once I heard about this one I knew I had to read it.

This is a different sort of book though and doesn't quite hit the mark. The previous book, as the title suggests, is about the origins behind words, a topic I find fascinating. I like to know why we use words the way we do and how they evolved to current standards.

This book though is less about origins, though some are included, and more about obscure and forgotten words for vari
Nov 05, 2012 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Somewhat unfortunately, I read this at the same time as the new QI book of 1,227 facts, which included many of the words in this volume, obviously not by total coincidence. It's a fun book, though, with Mark Forsyth's humour as much as or more in evidence than in The Etymologicon. I don't think I'm going to remember many of these words, if any, but they are indeed satisfying and odd, and some of them are undeservedly defunct.
Jo Bennie
Nov 30, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it liked it
Shelves: f
A thoroughly entertaining romp through rare and obsolete words that are appropriate for different times of the day. Forsyth arranges his 19 chapters chronologically from waking to turning in for the night, taking the reader from 6am to 12 midnight, from dawn, dressing, breakfast and commute through work, lunch and procrastination to tea time, food shopping, going out and returning home to bed. This book was to me a delight, light and witty in tone but erudite in knowledge. Forsyth readably conve ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Nafiza rated it it was amazing
The Horologicon is a delightful journey through an entire day populated by words that have meandered out of the every day English usage. Forsyth’s tone is cheeky, slightly irreverent and very, very engaging. It is funny because although this is what Louise Rosenblatt would term “efferent reading,” reading The Horologicon doesn’t feel as mentally taxing and as dense as one feel after say, reading something else that demands attention, something that isn’t for fun, per se, but to glean information ...more
Parrish Lantern
Are you looking for that wonderful gift to present to the individual in your life who appears to have swallowed a lexicon with their mornings repast, and have you been a bit tardy in getting said article? Well fret not here is an awesome nay, Brobdingnagian offering that could easily engender feelings of exuberance and even adoration from said recipient!

In his preambulation Mark Forsyth states that this book is for those words that are..

“To beautiful to live long, too amusing to be taken serious
*Goodreads First Reads copy*

Horologicon certainly helped me 'rediscover' old, obscure terms that can still be used. It was certainly well researched and documented. However, the author seemed not to be able to decide whether he wanted to write a research tool or a humorous book on language. Sadly, I felt he failed on both accounts.

The layout of the book, while improving on dictionaries in the sense that it is based on when you may need a certain word, is not fully conducive to quickly finding t
Oct 24, 2014 D.M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When an authour has a top-selling and remarkable first book, it's inevitable their next work would be compared to it. It's not fair, but just the way it goes. So, in reading Mark Forsyth's Horologicon immediately following his superb Etymologicon, the former would have to be something outstanding to even compare. It isn't and it doesn't.
This book is a completely different animal to the Etymologicon, which may be its undoing. Rather than taking the easy route of another circular journey through t
Nov 03, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Entertaining and informative, but less so than Forsyth's previous outing, The Etymologicon. I did like the conceit here of words sorted by broad categories of usage, which lends itself to to a whimsical narrative style of word curation, but it often falls into a trap of leaning on this narrative and taking its subject for granted. Most notably, it generally places emphasis on the existence of the words it presents, rather on the reason the word exists. The book really sings when it gets into a g ...more
Dec 11, 2014 E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark Forsyth has done it again. The focus of this book is obscure vocabulary of the English language. He supposedly arranges it by time of day (hence the title)--verbiage related to getting out of bed, commuting, eating lunch, going to the store, etc., although some of that is by necessary arbitrary.

But the result is a wonderful look at words that have fallen into disuse for one reason or another. This is truly a random selection:

theomey: the wrath of God
tabagie: a group of smokers
jumblegut lane
Sep 16, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
The prologue had me old-man-laughing with tears rolling down my face, which was a little unfair. The rest of the book didn't quite stack up to the beginning but it certainly had it's moments. This little tome managed to sufficiently satisfy my craving for dry random humor as well as my liking for wordiness/nearly obsolete words.
Henrik Schunk
Apr 11, 2014 Henrik Schunk rated it really liked it
An incredibly humours and worthwhile walkabout through the English language, with interesting explanations, the necessary irony and plethora of sly remarks to make a potentially dry subject a jolly hoot. Absolutely a must-read for fans of language and the English language in particular.
May 12, 2015 Tyler rated it it was amazing
I had a lot of fun reading this book. However, I have to warn you that it is literally a list of archaic words that are not worth learning because no one else knows them.

I'm giving it five stars because if you start reading it, then you're probably the type of person who would willingly start reading a for-fun reference book on archaic words. Which means you're probably the type of person who will enjoy the whole thing.

I like learning about the history of words because it keeps their humility in
Jan 14, 2014 Neale rated it liked it
There are many books about obscure and amusing words: novelty gift items, mostly, that end up as lavatory reading, if not at the thrift shop. They are a few steps up the literary ladder from bound collections of grumpy cat photos. Mark Forsyth had a surprise publishing hit with such a collection, ‘The Etymologicon’, which by all accounts was one of the best of its kind. The author’s droll prose-style sometimes reminds me of Jerome K. Jerome.

A sequel was bound to be tricky. More of the same? ‘The
Dec 07, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
The Etymologicon was last year's surprise runaway bestseller. The author has now assembled The Horologicon, or book of hours, to delight his audience with a feast of words appropriate to a precise moment of the day.
Quite fun, but recommended in small doses, or you'll feel as dirty and exasperated as if you'd swallowed an entire Stephen Fry in one sitting.
Catharine Evans
Feb 24, 2015 Catharine Evans is currently reading it
Really interesting book, discovering new words. Trying to find a way of incorporating uhtceara and snollygoster into my everyday vocabulary!!!
Carey Combe
Dec 08, 2012 Carey Combe rated it liked it
This a christmas stocking book aimed at those sitting on the loo for a while.... fun but frivolous
Dec 12, 2015 Dissociated rated it it was amazing
If you have yearned for being a part of a clan that is intent on the resurrection of obsolete words, and was wondering where to start, this is what you'd need. Even if you don't have such strange desires, you'll enjoy reading the book.

Here's an excerpt

"There is a single Old English word meaning ‘lying awake before dawn and worrying’. Uhtceare is not a well-known word even by Old English standards, which were pretty damn low. In fact, there is only one recorded instance of it actually being use
Apr 18, 2015 Nayeli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
Got this book along with The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, I liked that one a lot but I enjoyed this one a bit more. Perhaps it's the way it's arranged, words presented in each chapter are relevant to a particular time of the day so it's easy to keep track. Also, it's insanely quotable and quite amusing, even if it makes you seem rather nerdy and trivial, but if you have true friends they'll at least pretend to listen to you. If you're no ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I had fun with this book! Really using it as a book of hours, i.e. chap ‘midnight’ before going to bed, is really nice. But one can also read this ‘randomly’, i.e. reading about commuting at 9 PM, because it’s an amazing book. This book was really educative. I really enjoyed learning the words. I’ve got a lot of favorites:
(view spoiler)
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Feb 18, 2013 Lindsay (Little Reader Library) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
In the Horologican, meaning ‘book of hours’, author Mark Forsyth presents us with a collection of weird and wonderful words from within the depths of the English language, ordered by the hours in the day, so that we can grasp them at the time of day that we can most appropriately use them.

It’s a really entertaining read for anyone even remotely fascinated by language. Starting at 6am and taking us through until midnight, the author has compiled an amazing collection of words that perfectly fit
After The Etymologicon, Mark Forsyth wrote The Horologicon, a book with obsolete, but very entertaining and interesting words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, expressions, ...), arranged in clockwise order. Each chapter represents an hour or time frame, starting with morning and waking up. This goes into breakfast, work, lunch, teatime, shopping, going out, etcetera.

Applying his witty style to this book, mr. Forsyth managed to compile it all in a neat manner, where - like in The Etymologicon - each te
Jul 22, 2014 Lucy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012, for-review
I love, love, loved Mark Forsyth's previous book The Etymologicon. So much so that I had to make a second post just to talk about all the words I tweeted about whilst reading it. I was super excited to read The Horologicon, and had planned to buy it when I went to a Mark Forsyth event which was meant to be last week (but was cancelled because apparently people in Birmingham don't appreciate words *sob*), however when I saw it up on netgalley I snatched it up right away.

Maybe my expectations were
Andrew Fish
Jan 13, 2013 Andrew Fish rated it really liked it
Shelves: language
Following The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language was always going to be a tough feat, but to give the author his due he didn't do the obvious and simply create The Etymologicon II (apologies to Mr Forsyth if that's what he's doing now).

The Horologicon is a book of hours - an exploration of the lost and obscure words of the English language organised by the hours of the day in which they are (sometimes tangentially) most useful. With terms for
Aug 03, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2013
Forsyth's first book, The Etymologicon, was written with superb wit and prose and was a delight to read. I was expecting great things from this, and he has not disappointed.

This time the book is set over the course of a normal working day, and he takes you through you normal activities of waking, washing, breakfast, work, lunch, and onto the evening activities of supper, drinking and wooing and stumbling home. In each of the activities, he has mined old dictionaries to bring you words that are n
Nov 19, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
For every hour of the day, The Horologicon brings us a lost word or four to perfectly suit any situation. Mark Forsyth takes us through an average working day from the first moments of consciousness to avoiding working at work, ending on a night out and a much deserved descent into sleep.

The Horologicon is an absolute delight to read if you just love words. I laughed out loud on several occasions and have squirrelled away so many new old words for future use. Don’t let these words die out! There
Paul Brogan
Jul 06, 2013 Paul Brogan rated it really liked it
Shelves: airport
I've always been fascinated by the English language: how it evolved, how it continues to change, its lack of any discernible, rigid logic, how new words are born, and how old words die.

This book is about the dead, or nearly dead, words, the ones that were popular for a while, only to become obsolete, superfluous, or just forgotten among all the wonderful new words that come the way of the English-speaker just about every day.

I loved the words, not really because I wanted to add them to my lexico
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Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist and blogger. Every job he’s ever had, whether as a ghost-writer or proof-reader or copy-writer, has been to do with words. He started The Inky Fool blog in 2009 and now writes a post almost every day. The blog has received worldwide attention and enjoys an average of 4,000 hits per week.

Mr. Forsyth currently resides in London.
More about Mark Forsyth...

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“The problem with the alphabet is that it bears no relation to anything at all, and when words are arranged alphabetically they are uselessly separated. In the OED, for example, aardvarks are 19 volumes away from the zoo, yachts are 18 volumes from the beach, and wine is 17 volumes from the nearest corkscrew.” 12 likes
“So familiar are eggs to us, however, that in the eighteenth century they were referred to as cackling farts, on the basis that chickens cackled all the time and eggs came out of the back of them.” 6 likes
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