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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

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  733 ratings  ·  120 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
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Hardcover, 258 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Icon Books
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James
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, id
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Bob Hartley
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
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Nikki
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.
Kim
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
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Jo Bennie
Nov 30, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Nafiza
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
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Craig
*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
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D.M.
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
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E
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
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Henrik Schunk
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.
Neale
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
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Laura
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.
Seawood
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
This a christmas stocking book aimed at those sitting on the loo for a while.... fun but frivolous
Maria
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)
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Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
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
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Tim
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
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Lucy
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
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Andrew Fish
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
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Paul Cheney
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
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Ellie
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
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Paul Brogan
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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Kim
First off, this is a book for those who are interested in coming across words that you have never seen or read before because it was lost over time. If you do not like the history of how certain words came about, then this is not the book for you. If you are, you need to buy this book! I immensely enjoyed reading this book because it contained beautifully-looking words that I never thought it existed in the English language, ancient words that still can be used in context, and funny condensed ba ...more
Kleopatra Olympiou
The Horologicon is smart, witty, informative and genuinely fun to read.
Although, given its topic, it would normally be leaning towards the academic genre, the book maintains a trivial perspective throughout that is what makes it so enjoyable and impossible to call a dictionary, or a textbook, as both these words imply something long, pointless and ponderous (I'm sorry I insulted your dictionaries, Mark Forsyth, I really am, but I have to get my point across).
I am definitely glad to have ignored
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H. P. Reed
Mark Forsyth takes us, hour by hour, through the day using old and sometimes forgotten words to illustrate the actions appropriate to those hours. Sounds like a choose, doesn't it? But, no, Forsyth's cheery, snarky writing manages to overcome the potential for boredom. He addresses the reader as if he was a friendly fellow traveler on this unusual journey rather that as is he was a lecturer droning on about his favorite subject. If you are a lover of words, this book will be entertain. If not, i ...more
Annetta Mallon
As enticing and engrossing as the first by Mark Forsyth, this book made me stop and consider the way I get through the day in a completely new light. While I am not entirely sure (although I'm quietly confident) that I have picked "his" word, I agree that there are many words that are needed - nay, vital - to explaining how we get through our 24 hour daily cycle.

Buy one for yourself, and one for a really good friend who will appreciate a new vocabularic rhythm of the day.
Travis Mueller
There is nothing wrong with this book-- in fact I hope to find time to read it sometime-- it just doesn't fit my reading interests at the moment. I'm not sure what I would gain by learning obscure English words as opposed to learning interesting bits of history, psychology, or biology, or just reading a good story as the other books competing for my time and attention offer me.
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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...
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted Mark Forsyth's Gemel Edition The Servant: A Short Story

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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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