The Deeper Meaning of Liff
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The Deeper Meaning of Liff (The Meaning of Liff #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,819 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Does the sensation of Tingrith(1) make you yelp? Do you bend sympathetically when you see someone Ahenny(2)? Can you deal with a Naugatuck(3) without causing a Toronto(4)? Will you suffer from Kettering(5) this summer?Probably.

You are almost certainly familiar with all these experiences but just didn't know that there are words for them. Well, in fact, there aren't...or...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by Three Rivers Press (first published 1990)
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James
A birthday present from my sister, The Meaning of Liff is a dictionary of words you didn't know about. Each word is actually a place name (mostly in the UK) and a humorous explanation is provided for each.

Some of them I had already known for some time – my favourite is still Wimbledon – which as we all know describes "That last drop which, no matter how much you shake it, always goes down your trouser leg."
Lucy
This year, the wonderful Meaning of Liff and I share a milestone birthday. Imagine my excitement at the prospect of a sequel to this masterpiece 30 years after the first edition. So it seemed like a good time to read the version on my bookshelf again in anticipation.

Written by the unstoppable duo Douglas Adams (if you haven’t read the Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy of five, you are missing out on some magic) and John Lloyd (QI creator), The Deeper Meaning of Liff is a hilarious dictionary-style book...more
Stephanie Griffin
I’m surprised that I didn’t love Douglas Adams’ THE DEEPER MEANING OF LIFF: A Dictionary of Things That There Aren’t Any Words For Yet. I certainly adored his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

Ely (n.) The first, tiniest inkling that something, somewhere, has gone terribly wrong.

It seems that this book was really aimed at adolescent boys who find bodily functions amusing. There were many definitions that I laughed at but it was disheartening to find that there were outdated references and...more
Sara
I didn't think that a mock dictionary would be something you could sit down and read through in one sitting... but - at least with this one - you can. Douglas Adams is brilliant, and at least 1/3 of the words in this book I felt I should scribble down and use immediately.
I really want to keep this book, but I know deep in my heart that if this vocabulary hasn't caught on in the past 30 years, nothing I can do will make it. So I have to pass it on for the next person to enjoy. It is quite the aba...more
Julie Sondra Decker
Douglas Adams takes place names that he believes aren't being used anyway since no one ever goes to these places, and he repurposes them all, assigning them to experiences, sensations, items, and people we all wish there were names for.

Most of the definitions were merely absurd, but some of them were so perfectly on point in describing something that's happened to everyone that I really wanted to memorize the word and start using it in everyday vocabulary. Most definitions were quite brief, but...more
Bee
So much a part of my daily vocabulary that I often get very very odd looks and don't know why. A must have.
Andrew
This is a second book in the "Meaning of Liff.." series. It is basically a humorous dictionary of imaginary and twisted words which on closer examination strike a cord with our everyday world. You can like many of these types of books read the entries from A to Z in order - but its hard going - however it is more fun to simply flick through the book picking out entries and reading their descriptions. The only problem now is once read you are just dying to try some of them out (or is that just me...more
Madeleine
I've been reading and loving Douglas Adams's works since I was in middle school; while it's possible to translate this as my sense of humor not evolving much in 15 years, I'd rather embrace the notion that I was saddled with a funny bone (among other things) that would have served me much better had I been born on the other side of the Atlantic. Either way, the real point is that diving into anything penned by one of my all-time favorite writers always feels a little bit like coming home or slip...more
Jay
Mar 12, 2012 Jay rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
This isn't really the best book to read from cover-to-cover. It's more of a book to skim through in the odd moments: waiting for a bus, sitting in the waiting area of an emergency room, when the rocketship countdown starts and you've no buttons to press in your little display panel until it begins again, or, perhaps, for the dull bits during a skydiving trip.

What I find more interesting than the individual words -- creative and amusing as they are -- is the fact that all the new words are the n...more
Swankivy
This book is full of rather witty reassignments for place names that aren't being used for much anyway. How often have all of us wished there was a good word to describe a thing, a phenomenon, or a feeling? Isn't the world a better place now that we have Douglas Adams's answer to this puzzling problem? Isn't it nice to know that a grimsby is a lump of gristle that is either in your food through careless cooking or sometimes placed there deliberately by Freemasons? Or that a sidcup is one of thos...more
Richard
Jul 13, 2007 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loved other Douglas Adams books or who has a sense of humour.
Shelves: comedy
We all know them... The things in life that we all experience, but which don't necessarily have a name.

This is a dictionary of those things.

Ely: The feeling that something, somewhere has just gone horribly wrong.

As an added twist, each of the words defined in the meaning of Liff is actually a placename somewhere in the world. Many of them are actually various odd village names from the UK (there are plenty, I live about five miles from 'Six Mile Bottom'!), but there are plenty from further afiel...more
Ian Wood
In ‘The Meaning of Liff’ Douglas Adams and John Lloyd have expanded the English language by noting down the meaningless names that lie underused on signpost and attribute new purpose to them covering the common experiences we have yet to assign a word to.

Depford(n).
The Disappointment one feels when our favourite author puts out a book not worthy of their name.

Twinning(n).
The nagging sensation the reader feels that he has been swindled out of five pounds that would have been better served giving...more
Durdles
A very clever idea to use place names to describe things for which no word exists. Not an original idea but the results are amusing and sometimes inspired e.g. taken at random:
Eads: The sludgy bits at the bottom of the dustbin, underneath the actual bin liner.
Patney: Something your next door neighbour makes and insists that you try on your sausages.
My favourite one isn't in the book though. Risca: Something white and gooey found at the back of the fridge that might be o.k. for frying somethin
...more
Jackie
Mar 04, 2014 Jackie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: An English major
Shelves: fiction, humor
A dictionary of all kinds of words that Douglas Adams thought should exist in English. I love the idea and some entries are pretty funny.
Greg
So I didn't realize this was just a new edition of the first book. I expected a whole new book of additional words. However, this was an improvement on the original. There were some new words and definitions but mostly it was just enhanced with some pictures and pronunciations. At first I thought this would bother me but I actually appreciated more the pseudo-etymology of the words than I did the first time. It also, for some reason, made it seem more British which! also for some reason! brings...more
Grant
This book is a wonderful piece of comedy. Some of the words will have you laughing very hard. Adams and Loyd take definitions that are without words, and using the names of places, finally gives them the words they deserve. Not only is this a fun read, but it does get the reader thinking about what in their world they cannot describe in one word, and ways to do just that. It has been said that a great writer can say a sentence in a page, or a page in a sentence, and with the words in this book,...more
MLE
Jul 16, 2012 MLE rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
I will admit it; If anyone else had written an entire book of definitions that they then attached to the strange names of towns and cities there is no way I would have read it, but this, this is written by Douglas Adams, possibly my favorite writer ever. The definitions he invents are so perfect it made me wonder why we don't actually have a word for most of them. It was a fun book to read, and it made me sad to know that he was no longer with us.
Ginger
This is one of my top three in the books written by Douglas Adams. This author not only thinks tangentially, he writes tangentially. Where did that come from? And then later there may or may not be a tie in. Humorous escapism at its best. Most of the characters are English, but one cannot count on Adams to stick to a country, let alone a topic. Fun read! I'm not sure of the date of publication, but I read it that year.
Peter
It's a good translation of Douglas Adams' original "the deeper meaning of Liff" into German, using mostly German cities. It's not a direct translation, but includes words that aren't featured in the original, which makes it good to read in addition to the original.
The book itself is built like a Longman's dictionary and includes both the German and the original English version of the book.
Beth
Very much the sort of Douglas Adam's humor we've all grown to know and love. It's a spoof dictionary of things for which words don't exist, together with various place names. The sort of book you take to bed to relax with, but then keep yourself awake by laughing too much. Not the sort of book to read from cover to cover, but more the sort of book you dip into when you need cheering up.
Blain
I picked this up because it's the only book by Douglas Adams that I hadn't read. As "a dictionary of things there aren't any words for yet" it is great. You will find yourself laughing at a shared human experience, for example a Deventer- a decision that's very hard to make because so little depends on it. But it can be hard to read more than few pages at a time.
Bena Sanghera
I loved this. Absolutely brilliant. The observations are funny, true to life and clever. It's a book that I happily drop into and pull out something that makes me smile.
A dictionary of false meanings doesn't mean that those situations and meanings don't exist. Just that there isn't a word for them.
Now you can find it here - or make your own.
Koz
Mar 28, 2007 Koz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cunning Linguists
Dalfibble (DAL-fib-ul) vb.
To spend large periods of your life looking for car keys.
Memus (MEE-mus) n.
The little trick people use to remind themselves which is left and which is right.
Smyrna (SMUR-nah) n.
The expression on the face of one whose joke has just gone down rather well.
Minnie
Feb 09, 2008 Minnie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone in need of a laugh
A hilarious book that puts words to use that are just lying around, mostly names of towns ,some usual such as Vancouver. That is the technical name for those huge trucks with whirling brushes on the bottom used to clean streets. My favourite is Abilene which describes the pleasant coolness on the reverse side of the pillow
Rita Crayon Huang
They're just like sniglets, but a thousand times funnier, because Douglas Adams wrote them.

I can't say I've read them all (yet), but I get going and within a few I'm laughing so hard, my sides hurt.

As one might expect, the extra stuff--maps, index, etc.--to this book are hilarious as well.
Chris
Reads like a Dictionary becuase it is a dictionary. "A dictionary of things there aren't any words for yet - but there ought to be"
A funny read but, not one I'd advise to sit down and read cover to cover. Great book to have sitting out to pick up and read a few random entries from.
Sean Sparks
Adams' review of a lexicon of made-up words and terms, with many handy usable phrases that I would have never thought of for myself. Best of all, it drove me to start finding names for things there weren't a name for, like the pit formed on the underside of where your elbow is. Bowpit.
Heli
Universaalit ilmiöt vieraskirjaan kirjoittamisen vaikeudesta bussin odotuskärkyntään saavat nimensä paikannimistä. Niin hauska ja nokkela kirja, että tekisi mieli kirjoittaa kaikki sanat ja niitten määritelmät muistiin! Myös hakemisto on erinomaista viihdettä.
Steve Harding
An excellent, although rather hard to find little book.

A handy reference for a large number of things that nobody has bothered making up words for yet, some of them obscure but others so common and every-day that it's shocking that they don't already exist.
Sjoerd
A very clever book unlike any other I've ever seen. Filled with sharp observations and one of the only few books that can, again and again, make me literally laugh out loud. Too bad I once lend someone my copy and never got it back...
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Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was comp...more
More about Douglas Adams...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)

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“Ahenny (adj.) - The way people stand when examining other people's bookshelves.” 183 likes
“Ballycumber (ba-li-KUM-ber) n.
One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed.”
118 likes
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