The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth

Published August 13, 2013

The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth

Book info

  • Title
  • Author Mark Forsyth
  • Year
  • Genres


When I saw this book in a Kindle sale, I knew I wanted to read it - detailing the history and transformation of bits and pieces of the English language, but in a fun and not even slightly stuffy fashion. It was exactly why I expected it to be and a really good read.

I can’t promise to remember all, perhaps even any, of it, but it was such a delight to wade through the whys and wherefores, how words came to be, how they have changed and how they continue to develop.

A particular example that did strike me was to do with gormless, and that gorm was once a dialect-specific word but one that was only used verbally and not really written down. However, Wuthering Heights, that classic text, featured the dialect and the word gormless but not gorm. So it lives on as gormless while the original word is forgotten.

There’s so much crammed into this book that I imagine in a year or so, I’ll want to plough through it a second time to refresh my memory and enjoy the process all over again!

Rating: Unrated

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