The Wonder of Whiffling
And Other Extraordinary Words in the English LanguageBook - 2009
Fresh from his adventures hunting down exotic words in languages all over the world, author of the bestselling The Meaning of Tingo Adam Jacot de Boinod set himself the task of exploring the beauties, oddities and downright hilarities of the language that started off his love affair with words - English.
The Wonder of Whiffling is a hugely enjoyable, surprising and rewarding tour around the language of the British Isles (with plenty of fine coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere). Discover all sorts of words you've always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale , to spend one's money before it has been earned; cagg , a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor , the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.
Delving deep into the language with the most words in the world, Adam Jacot de Boinod also discovers why it is you wouldn't want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas , why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet , and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else.
From rural English counties and remote ex-colonies, from the jargon-loving armed forces to the corners of the schoolyard, from Anglo-Saxon to trailer-park slang, Adam Jacot de Boinod presents English as you've never heard it before.
(Oh, and as for whifflers , whether you prefer yours whistling lightly, talking nonsense, constantly changing their mind, or leading processions, you'll find them all in here . . .)