An entertaining collection of strange, delightful and unexpectedly apt words from the origins of English, which illuminates the lives, beliefs and habits of our linguistic ancestors.
'A marvelous book' Neil Gaiman
'Wonderful' – Tom Holland
'A lovely, lovely read' – Lucy Mangan
'Splendid' – David Crystal
'Thorough, entertaining, and absolutely fascinating.' Paul Anthony Jones, Haggard Hawks
In this beautiful little book, Hana Videen has gathered gems of words together to create a glorious trove and illuminate the lives, beliefs and habits of our linguistic ancestors. We discover a world where choking on a bit of bread might prove your guilt, where fiend-ship was as likely as friend-ship, and you might grow up to be a laughter-smith. These are the magical roots of our own language: you'll never see English in the same way again.