The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities

The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities : A Yearbook of Forgotten Words

4.25 (102 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 6-11 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


A whole year's worth of linguistic curiosities, just waiting to be discovered.

Within these pages you might leap back in time, learn about linguistic trivia, follow a curious thread or wonder at the web of connections in the English language.

1 January quaaltagh (n.) the first person you meet on New Year's Day

1 April dorbellist (n.) a fool, a dull-witted dolt

12 May word-grubber (n.) someone who uses obscure or difficult words in everyday conversation

25 September theic (adj.) an excessive drinker of tea

24 December doniferous (adj.) carrying a gift

Paul Anthony Jones has unearthed a wealth of strange and forgotten words: illuminating some aspect of the day, or simply telling a cracking good yarn, each reveals a story. Written with a light touch that belies the depth of research it contains, this is both a fascinating compendium of etymology and a captivating historical miscellany. Dip into this beautiful book to be delighted and intrigued throughout the year.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 32mm | 356g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd New edition
  • 1783964391
  • 9781783964390
  • 48,015

Review quote

"A treasure-trove of rare words ... beautifully designed (that shade of blue is wonderful), and perfect either for dipping into every morning to learn a new word of the day, or for reading at a rather more headlong pace, as I found I was doing once I dipped my head into this wonderful cabinet of language trivia" -- Dr Oliver Tearle,; "Cracking open its beautifully crafted aged-teal and gilded cover is like peeking into an old, mysterious cabinet ... The book's conceit is brilliant, the writing is crisp, and the tales are well-chosen and captivating. Jones never loses sight of the charm-the magic-of strange and forgotten words ... Whether you read through the book day by day or, if you're like me and you can't help yourself, rummaging around the cabinet regardless of the calendar, The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities will surely transport you to another time" -- Mashed Radish; "Delightful ... a fun book" -- Sarah's Vignettes; "This is a cabinet full of precious treasure, an etymological gold mine ... Not only is this a book for those that love all things about the English language, Paul Anthony Jones has written a book for the general reader too ... Very readable and can be dipped into as and when you want to" -- Half Man, Half Book; "I'm absolutely adoring this book and think it would make a fantastic gift for any reader or writer" -- Linda's Bookbag; "A treasure trove ... a word of the day, a history lesson, and a fascinating fact book that would be the PERFECT gift for that person who is so difficult to buy for ... I can't foresee a day going by when I won't open this fascinating book" -- 5 STAR review, The Book Magnet; "Fascinating and I think you will agree that it is beautiful. I sat around our table with my husband and two teenage children, flicking through this wonderful book and in between laughing we were very impressed with the history behind each word. I will be purchasing a few copies for Christmas presents this year. It's just brilliant!" -- Chat About Books; "This book has a stunningly beautiful cover and you'll find a real treasure trove of delights inside. As someone who is fascinated by words and where they come from, this was the perfect book for me to dip in and out of" -- Portobello Book Blog; "I would thoroughly recommend this book ... A great Christmas present ... The cover is exceptionally beautiful. It needs to be seen to be fully appreciated, as do each and every one of the entries in this awesome book. I think it's safe to say that this is a book that I will be returning to regularly throughout the year and perhaps be appearing on my top books of 2017" -- The Quiet Knitter; "I started reading these delightful daily doses of etymology last week, and plan to keep the book at my bedside for the whole of the year to come" - Bookish Beck; "The perfect book to dip in and out of" -- Short Book & Scribes; "There's something about words which soothes my soul and to have chance to take a look at words which have fallen out of common use and yet, when seen, still make the utmost sense, I am reminded of those people who have gone before and of the rich contribution they have made to our vocabulary ... Amongst the strange and forgotten words there are some real beauties to be discovered. Some made me smile, others made me nod my head in sage agreement, whilst others made me realise just how beautiful is our language" --
show more

About Paul Anthony Jones

Paul Anthony Jones is the author of several books on trivia and language, including The Accidental Dictionary, Word Drops, The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer, Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons and its sequel, Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire. He appears regularly in the Telegraph online, BBC Radio 4's World at One, Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post and Mental Floss, and has contributed to the Guardian, Independent and Woman's Weekly, and Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries online. He also runs @HaggardHawks, the hugely popular language-based Twitter account and YouTube channel. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.
show more

Rating details

102 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 44% (45)
4 40% (41)
3 12% (12)
2 4% (4)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X