Word Drops : A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities, Hardback Book

Word Drops : A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities Hardback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


If you're logofascinated, you are literally spellbound by language. This surprising compendium of 1,000 facts about words, language and etymology is here to inspire your curiosity and delight in discovery.

In Word Drops, you can delve into a smattering of unexpected connections and weird juxtapositions, stumble upon a new or remarkable word, or learn of many a bizarre etymological quirk or tall tale.

Did you know that the bowl made by cupping your hands together is called a gowpen? And speaking of bowls, the earliest known reference to bowling in English dates from 1555, when bowling alleys were banned by an Act of Parliament. And that ties in nicely with the fact that the English called the Germans 'Alleymen' during the First World War.

But in Navajo, Germany is called Beesh Bich'ahii Bikeyah - or 'metal cap-wearer land'. Word Drops is a language fact book unlike any other, its linguistic tidbits all falling together into one long interconnected chain - just like the example above - with each fact neatly 'dropping' into place beside the next.What's more, throughout, footnotes are used to give some informative and intriguing background to some of the most bizarre facts, covering everything from traditional Inuit games to the origin of the Bellini cocktail, from the precise length of one 'jiffy' to what the Romans thought hoopoe birds ate, and from what to expect on a night out with Dr Johnson to Samuel Pepys's cure for a hangover. Want to know the longest palindrome in Morse code, or who The Great Masticator was?

Curious to know what Norwegian steam is, or what a jaaaar is?

The answers are all here. For all of the logofascinated among us, this is an immensely pleasurable and unpredictable collection that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows (the literal meaning, incidentally, of supercilious).

If you want to get a taste of Word Drops, Author Paul Anthony Jones has been appearing on BBC Radio 4's The World at One throughout the week starting the 27th of April.

Furthermore, Woman's Weekly will be running an extract of the book in May.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Language: reference & general
  • ISBN: 9781783961535

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Word Drops – Indeed They Do“Words Don’t Come Easy to me .....” FR David would never have had to sing those words if he had been give Word Drops by Paul Anthony Jones he would have a plethora of them and even know what they mean and their origin too. This is a lovely addition to anyone’s bookshelves especially those who love words and their origins.At times I feel like a frumberdling when growing a beard and it looks like it too, so I tend to give it pogonotomy when it is annoying me and I will never need a pocket-tortoise for it either. Oh yes there are so many words we do not know and many that we do and we can indulge in a verbal one up manship with others.In my colourful life I know a lot of elbow-shakers who would camouflage your face and have a particular funk about them. Oh I could go on about these wonderful words and you will have to read the book to find out what I actually mean. Some may even say they never understand what I write or verbalise; with this book I can now baffle them with words.There are some interesting vignettes in here, I know spas took their name from the Belgium town of Spa but I did not know that the duffel coat takes its name from the Belgium town of Duffel. I also did not know that in Japan sheep do not baa but say mee, and that a cross between a goat and a sheep is a geep. When I hear the Bee Gee’s hit tragedy I will now know that the word derived for the Greek for goat-song. You can also find out what the most commonly misspelt word is in English and no it is not necessary or parallel!Word Drop is an excellent little book by Paul Anthony Jones, which is enjoyable, and a book that you can always dive in to and come out sounding like an English Professor. The book lives up to delivering a sprinkle of linguistic curiosities and all of them are very quotable, but a warning, some people may wish you never picked this book, but who cares?