- Hardcover: 132 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 24, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195159055
- ISBN-13: 978-0195159059
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 5.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Weird and Wonderful Words
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From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up-Arranged alphabetically, this volume of unusual words defines terms from "aboulia the loss of will or volition, as a mental illness" to "Zyrian a former term for Komi, a language spoken by a people living in an area of northern Russia west of the Urals." Some sections on individual letters include discussions of certain types of words, such as those describing anatomy, illnesses, scientific "-logies," and "Peculiar and Prodigious Pigs." Whimsical black-and-white drawings are the highlights of the book. While amusing in their own right, they serve to illustrate the meanings of many of the words and their use in sentences. The volume concludes with sections on "How to Create Your Own Weird and Wonderful Words," Web sites that focus on the English language, and a bibliography of Oxford dictionaries. While this book may be interesting to logophiles, average readers may be frustrated by the lack of pronunciation guides for these unfamiliar words.
Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This book is as wonderful as the weird words in it. McKean, editor of Verbatim and a dictionary editor at Oxford, has culled all manner of words that either sound unusual or mean something unusual. Have you ever heard of an otacust or a gallnipper? Have you ever worbled or been exauctorated? If not, you are missing something. Word lovers everywhere will have a great deal of fun with this book. In addition to the dictionary-style presentation, essays are sprinkled throughout (e.g., the fascinating "Irregular and Incredible Illnesses-Many Words for Diseases"), and a concluding essay explains how to create your own weird and wonderful words. To add to the reader's joy, McKean has included quirky and amazing illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast that add to the book's flavor and make it that much more intriguing. Because this book is meant to be fun rather than academic, there are no etymologies or pronunciation guides and not much detail for many of the words. But it doesn't really matter because the mandate here is silliness and fun. Funambulists, seplasiaries, and word lovers everywhere surely will want this book.
Manya S. Chylinski, Ctr. for Business Knowledge, Ernst & Young, Boston
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Some of my favorites are: couthy = to describe a person as 'warm and friendly' or a place as 'cosy and comfortable.'
gallinipper = a large mosquito.
hogo= a stink.
fawky = means foggy, damp, and cold, as in a rawky day or rawky weather.
selcouth = unfamiliar, rare, strange, marvelous, wonderful.
wabbit = exhausted or slightly unwell as in "I'm feeling a bit wabbit."
These are just a few of the wonderful and beautiful words contained in this edition. This is a collection of really out-of-the-way lexical items and words you have probably never heard of before which if you are a wordsmith is just what you have been looking for. The words are in alphabetical order with mini essays on their meanings along with cartoons to illustrate some of the words. There's even a chapter at the end of the book for how to create your own words, very useful for an aspiring author.
You can either peruse it in order or flip to any page and be utterly amazed and amused. But it appears I am being a bablatrice (a female babbler) as I keep going on and on about what a wonderful book this is. Buy it and see for yourself.