The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Mark Forsyth

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  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 205mm x 30mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Duxford
  • ISBN 10: 1848314159
  • ISBN 13: 9781848314153
  • Illustrations note: ill
  • Sales rank: 10,131

Product description

The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them. Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you're philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That's fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparkling deipnosophist. From Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, this is a book of weird words for familiar situations. From ante-jentacular to snudge by way of quafftide and wamblecropt, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.

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Author information

Mark Forsyth is a blogger and author whose books have made him one of the UK's best-known commentators on words. His book The Etymologicon was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and was followed by the similarly successful The Horologicon. Follow Mark on Twitter @inkyfool.

Customer reviews

By parrish lantern 21 Dec 2012 5

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 seriously, too precise to become common, too vulgar to survive in polite company, or too poetic to thrive in this age of prose."

He goes on to say that these words languish away in old and arenaceous dictionaries, that these are the lost words and the great secrets of civilisations that can still be of use today.


What sets this marvellous read apart from your standard lexicon is the method of recording used does not follow the A - Z format. In fact the writer states that by having words arranged alphabetically within a dictionary you render them useless as they bear no relation to their neighbouring words and are estranged from those words they share a relationship with (for example in the Oxford English Dictionary, wine and corkscrew are separated by seventeen volumes). This led the author after hours of rumination and a degree of puttering to fix upon the idea of using the medieval book of hours as his solution to this dilemma, in the process reinventing the reference book for the modern world and it's constant haste. With this method all one needs to do is to check the time of day via whatever clepsydra you prefer and then by referring to the correct page within this publication - suitable words should avail themselves for your use and the delectation of all within earshot.


The Horologicon (or book of hours) is the partner to last years The Etymologicon, and like that wonderful book, uses Mark's Inky Fool blog, as it's reference point. Where as the previous work, threaded us through the strange connection that exist between words, The Horologicon, is literally a book of hours, charting the period from just before the moment day-raw streaks red across the sky and guiding us through the day and eventide up until Bulls-noon, where we, having wished bene darkmans to our loved ones, will hopefully be ensconced in our dreamery, asleep in those arms of Morpheus.

Disclaimer.

"This is a reference work. You should on no account attempt to read it cover to cover. If you do, Hell itself will have no horrors for you, and neither the author nor his parent company will accept liability for any suicides, rampages, or crazed nudity that may result." Mark Forsyth.

Review quote

'Reading The Horologicon in one sitting is very tempting' -- Roland White, Sunday Times 'A magical new book ... Forsyth unveils a selection of those obsolete, but oh-so-wonderful words' -- Daily Mail 'Whether you are out on the pickaroon or ogo-pogoing for a bellibone, The Horologicon is a lexical lamppost' -- The Field 'A delightfully eccentric ... illuminating new book.' -- Daily Mail 'A magical new book ... Forsyth unveils a selection of those obsolete, but oh-so-wonderful words.' -- Daily Mail