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The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten Paperback – September 7, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0684857619 ISBN-10: 0684857618 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (September 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684857618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684857619
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Kacirk has written a new book on the same theme as his last book, Forgotten English, gathering hundreds of words that have slipped from common usage. By searching old dictionaries and glossaries, he has compiled words that appeal to him based on their sound (although there is no pronunciation guide), show either endearing or humorous aspects of their times, or illustrate customs. The result is this lark of a book, sure to appeal to all who love words and the sounds they make. In this Aladdin's cave of vocabulary are words like "bouffage" (very satisfying), "ugsumness" (terribleness), "snirp" (shrink), and "maffle" (stutter). The work may be of use to academic libraries where there is strong interest in lexicography, for, in addition to the words and definitions, there is a lengthy bibliography. For public libraries, the use will mainly be in the pleasure of browsing and looking at the many period illustrations. Recommended where there is a perceived need.DNeal Wyatt, Chesterfield P.L., VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Richard Lederer author of Crazy English Through the wabe of The Word Museum gyre and gimble some of the most abracadabrant creations of our word-bethumped English language. You'll be a more verbivorous human being after you take this tour.

Barbara Wallraff author of Word Court What fun The Word Museum is. It is a bouffage -- an absolute yeepsen -- for word-peckers, and that's no scaum.

Justin Kaplan and Anne Bernays authors of The Language of Names It's an absolutely delicious book, a ten-course banquet for anyone with an appetite for words, dictionary games, and just plain fun.

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Customer Reviews

This book is fascinating and really makes one think about the English language.
chiefcemetery
Many of the definitions are still deciperable but the overall value and usefulness of the book is greatly reduced by this limited approach.
magellan
I enjoyed "The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Ever Forgotten" by Jeffrey Kacirk.
A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com VINE VOICE on March 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Kacirk dedicates "The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Ever Forgotten" to Lewis Carroll because of the delectable verbiage introduced in "Jabberwocky." This seems right, as Kacirk's choice of words here are as fun, unique and rarely use Carroll's.

This is not an etymological study, but an comfortable overview of antiquated words.

He start off with 'abbey-lubber,' which is a pretentious loiterer in a religious house. I am unsure how I'll tastefully work this into a sentence next Sunday at church, but I am glad to have such a word in my quiver should the occasion arise.

Don't dismay if, while reading this, you feel you are seeing words new to you. Most of these words haven't escaped rare book rooms in 200 years. For example, we prefer, 'librarian' over 'bibliothecary' and children tend to choose 'sleepy' instead of 'Billy-wink.'

As Kacirk defines words, he slips in a number of woodcut illustrations, adding to the appeal. They are always somehow correlated with a word on that page.

Grab a glass of something cold, and thoughtfully stroke your 'ziff' (beard) while reading this in a 'zypthesary' (brewhouse). It may be 'faffle' (work occupied requiring much labor with non-commensurate results), but maybe not.

I enjoyed "The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Ever Forgotten" by Jeffrey Kacirk.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ed Brickell on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Kacirk once again delves into the dusty attics and musty cellars of the English language and comes up with hundreds more antiquated words to amuse and enlighten you. The only disappointment for me is that he doesn't delve at length into the curious folklore surrounding each word and its origins, unlike his first book, "Forgotten English." However, you're given enough interesting factoids to chew on, and are further compensated by the fact that less folklore leaves more room for more oddball words!
A must for any avid reader, writer, or anyone interested in the history of the English language.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Kacirk, The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten (Simon and Schuster, 2000)

A small, yet wonderful, dictionary of words that, for the most part, are no longer in use and probably should be. Other reviewers have pointed out that Kacirk could have done more with this, and they're correct, but I had no problems at all with what's here. The only real expectations I had coming into this were that I'd get the words and find out what they meant, and that's exactly what I got. It's better than your thesaurus. You need it. ****
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By S. Lawrenz VINE VOICE on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Kacirk's "The Word Museum" piqued my interest just by its basic promise, a book about words and their antiquated meanings. It sounds like a very good idea.
Unfortunately, Kacirk botched the execution of it and what resulted was a very subpar and mostly uninteresting collection of word definitions. That's it, just definitions. The worst part is, usage dates (dates the words might have been in use) contextual quotes and word origins weren't even included.
Well, actually, usage dates were included, by way of the name of an author who used it, that you had to go and look up in a glossary at the back of the book. Talk about unnecessarily cludgy and annoying.
Ok, the origin of words is a bit complex to research for a book, but the other two shouldn't have been that difficult. Had Kacirk actually put the usage dates along with the definitions, and included a contextual quote (most of the authors were before 1900 so copyrights wouldn't be an issue), this book would have been far more interesting and worth spending money on.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Koehn on May 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought that there would be more information about the origin and usage of the words. I was expecting something more along the lines of "the Professor and the Madman"---something that gave a historical view of why words stopped being popularly used. However, it's interesting to look over the lists of definitions---you can almost hear how people used to talk.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Lis on December 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
If you love language, you will love paging through Jeffrey Kacirk's "The Word Museum." Just a few samples..."hurple," "flamfloo," and "bruzzle." I made the mistake of purchasing it first on Kindle. This is a book to pick up and page through randomly. Hard to do on with an e-book. I liked it so much, I purchased is again in paperback. Much easier to page through. Just a lot of fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wordwit on November 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is difficult to find yet another take on word origins and meanings, but this book manages to do such a task well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roxanne M. on September 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This fun and educational volume provides hours of interesting reading. It is also a great source of new words for games like Scrabble.
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