Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Never Knew There Was a Word for It” as Want to Read:
I Never Knew There Was a Word for It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Never Knew There Was a Word for It

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
From 'shotclog' a Yorkshire term for a companion only tolerated because he is paying for the drinks to Albanian having 29 words to describe different kinds of eyebrows, the languages of the world are full of amazing, amusing and illuminating words and expressions that will improve absolutely everybody's quality of life. All they need is this book!

This bumper volume gather
...more
ebook
Published August 5th 2010 by Particular Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Never Knew There Was a Word for It, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Never Knew There Was a Word for It

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lavinia
Aug 29, 2014 Lavinia rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, in-en, 2011
I wish there was a way of remembering everything I wanted to. I started taking notes at the beginning, but I gave up pretty soon. Unfortunately, the last third (when you're really pissed by its length) is - subjectively speaking- the most interesting.
Rhian Davies
Feb 01, 2013 Rhian Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I am a massive word geek and I am currently running a blog about strange and obscure words. It's a fascinating read, however I was disappointed to find several mistakes. One of the Welsh words mentioned (lledorweddle) should be 'lledorwedd', while the full spelling of Llanfair PG (you know the one) was incorrect. These, along with a few other examples, made me wonder how many other words were incorrect throughout the book. But maybe my pedantry stems from the fact that ...more
Tania
Some of the creditations to languages have to be more closely edited. Also, some of the expressions are outdated or very rarely used. Interesting book, though.
Dorin Budusan
Oct 11, 2010 Dorin Budusan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookshelf
Although I didn't read all of it, it's a really funny book, from which you will learn a lot of funny words and all kinds of languages, words that you will probably never use.
Kerry
Mar 30, 2015 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did you know there are words for snow in 5 different languages? There is a lot of that in here which is not very interesting. Did you know there are words in other languages which sound like English words but are false cogitates. Yeah, that was even less interesting. There were far too many lists of these sorts of things in here.

Basically, the only thing that kept me reading (a few pages at a time over probably 18 months) was the sections on idioms. The variety of ways different cultures express
...more
Bob Hartley
Aug 05, 2014 Bob Hartley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I don't rate Jacot de Boinod as a writer. He's sort of enthusiastic about language but seems a bit under-informed. Lots of the words in the book already have an English word for the concept, like "giving someone a look that tells them you're annoyed". As in leering? Or scowling? Some of the linguistic terms he uses are misused too.

The thing is, I read it cover to cover. I actually put it down, went for a job interview, then came back and picked it up again. Glad I've only loaned it from the libr
...more
Phoebe Ella
Phoebe Ella rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2016
Enigma Monkey
Enigma Monkey rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2014
Bobby Langhorne
Bobby Langhorne rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2013
Camio.Dontchaknow
Camio.Dontchaknow rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2015
Harry Dixon
Harry Dixon rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2016
Rachel
Rachel rated it it was ok
Apr 27, 2013
Michelle G
Michelle G rated it liked it
Oct 17, 2013
Antony
Antony rated it liked it
Jul 02, 2012
Ester
Ester rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2015
Annie
Annie rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2013
Sofia
Sofia rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2012
Nia
Nia rated it really liked it
May 25, 2015
Magdalena Rich
Magdalena Rich rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Ane Mestvedthagen
Ane Mestvedthagen rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2016
Courtney
Courtney rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2014
Adam
Adam rated it really liked it
May 01, 2012
Meg Dean
Meg Dean rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2015
Ree S.
Ree S. rated it it was ok
Jul 07, 2015
Alisha
Alisha rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2011
Danielle
Danielle rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2013
Beks
Beks rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2016
Norelle M.
Norelle M. rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2016
Losa
Losa rated it it was ok
Jan 09, 2013
Aidas Puklevicius
Aidas Puklevicius rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English
  • Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Bad Language
  • Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms
  • When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worse
  • I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World
  • Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling
  • The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words
  • They Have a Word for It: A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words & Phrases
  • The F-Word
  • The Grouchy Grammarian: A How-Not-To Guide to the 47 Most Common Mistakes by Journalists, Broadcasters, and Others Who Should Know Better
  • I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World
  • Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World's Lowliest Languages
  • Niubi!: The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School
  • Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
  • Death Sentences: How Cliches, Weasel Words and Management-Speak Are Strangling Public Language
  • The Language Wars: A History of Proper English
  • Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite
  • Verbatim: From the bawdy to the sublime, the best writing on language for word lovers, grammar mavens, and armchair linguists

Share This Book