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Gallimaufry: A Hodgepodge of Our Vanishing Vocabulary
What is a gallimaufry anyway? And when did you last hear someone refer to the wireless? What was the original paraphernalia? Would you wear a billycock? Language is always changing, and here Michael Quinion, author of the bestselling POSH and other language myths, has gathered together some fascinating examples of words and meanings which have vanished from our language. S ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA
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(showing 1-30 of 85)
Fun collection (thematically grouped) of vocabulary which has vanished from English usage -- exotic spices, a wide variety of horse-drawn coaches, hats, foods, and even more recent come-and-gone technologies. Quinion writes primarily from a British perspective, but still pulls in enough American parallels for someone over here to be able to follow along. It's interesting as well to read of how many words English adopted from other languages -- or pasted together itself from other language roots, ...more
A fun little hop, skip, and jump through a garden variety of extinct and nearly-extinct words in the English verbiage. The most entertaining bits are those to do with food and fashion, but really this is a book to be read in fits and starts. Though Quinion is witty and -- as expected -- verbally dexterous, the words are simply grouped into different sections and then thrown at the reader in a somewhat numbing and nuance-free fashion. I do appreciate the attention paid to etymology, though I woul ...more
An interesting concept - exploring the roots and creations of various words that are vanishing from everyday usage - that feels more like a textbook than a sumptuous read. While a few of the words provide chuckles, most are locked into catagories of olden foods, disappeared card games, and faded technologies.
Good for browsing - a collection of short explanations of words like gallimaufry ("a hash made up of odds and ends of leftovers"), and hodgepodge (which they call hotchpotch in the UK). I like the way it is organized, a chapter on food, on medicine & drs., travel, fashion, etc.