'Brilliant for anyone interested in the effervescent oddness of English' --Stig Abell on Word Drops
How does a rock become a cloud? There are strange and fascinating stories behind even the most familiar words in the English language. Many words have changed their meaning – often completely – and, as language continues to develop, those stories can say as much about the present as they do the past. Buxom, for instance, originally meant obedient. Busking meant piracy. Finance meant to ransom. A bimbo was originally a man, nice meant ignorant, glamour was originally magic and a cupboard was a table… Focusing on 100 surprising threads in the evolution of English, The Accidental Dictionary looks at the etymological origins and quirky developments that have led to the meanings we take for granted today. This is a rich and addictive treasure trove for wordsmiths and lovers of language.
Paul Anthony Jones is something of a linguistic phenomenon. He runs the popular @HaggardHawks Twitter feed, blog and YouTube channel, revealing daily word facts to 60,000 engaged followers. His books include: Word Drops: A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities (E&T, 2015), The Accidental Dictionary (E&T, 2016), The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities (E&T, 2017), Around the World in 80 Words (E&T, 2018), as well as several other books on trivia and language. He appears regularly in the media and has contributed to the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries online. He is also a piano teacher and musician, and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.
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