Author(s): Paul Anthony Jones
Brimming with hidden histories and tantalising twists, The Accidental Dictionary tells the extraordinary stories behind ordinary words. Our everyday language is full of surprises; its origins are stranger than you might think. Any word might be knocked and buffeted, subjected to twists and turns, expansions and contractions, happy and unhappy accidents. There are intriguing tales behind even the most familiar terms, and they can say as much about the present as they do the past. Busking, for instance, originally meant piracy. Grin meant to snarl. A bimbo was a man, nice meant ignorant, glamour was magic and a cupboard was a table...
Focusing on 100 surprising threads in the evolution of English, The Accidental Dictionary reveals the etymological origins and quirky developments that have led to the meanings we take for granted today. It is a weird and wonderful journey into words.
"A real delight ... hidden gems nestle on every page" -- JaffaReadsToo
"The Accidental Dictionary is certainly worth adding [to a bookshelf]... I knew very few of these, which is a good thing, and now I know more, which is a better one" -- Marcus Berkmann, Spectator Christmas books 2016