I am thrilled to be today’s stop on Paul Anthony Jones’s THE CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES A Yearbook of Forgotten Words blog tour!
This book is just fascinating and I think you will agree that it is beautiful…..
I love the word on my Birthday (12th October) –
love-light (n.) a romantic glimmer in a person’s eyes; an infatuation 🙂
Some of the words are absolutely hilarious, such as the word on my friend Gayle’s Birthday (30th October) –
panshite (n.) a state of panic, confusion, or uproar (LOL!)
& on 15th December – scurryfunge (v.) (which is now my favourite word ever!) Meaning – to hastily tidy a house
I sat around our table with my husband and two teenage children, flicking through this wonderful book and in between laughing we were very impressed with the history behind each word. I will be purchasing a few copies for Christmas presents this year. It’s just brilliant!
The word for 25th October…..
polyanthea (n.) a literary collection, an anthology
Geoffrey Chaucer died on 25 October 1400. Chaucer’s written work includes a verse retelling of Troilus and Cressida, English translations of works by renowned Latin and French scholars and philosophers, and a non-fiction account of the workings of an astrolabe, an elaborate mechanical device used by navigators and astronomers. But it is for his Canterbury Tales that he is obviously best known today: an anthology of twenty-four tales related by a group of pilgrims en route to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket. An anthology is literally ‘a collection of flowers’. The word derives from the same root – the Greek for ‘flower’, anthos – as words like dianthus and chrysanthemum. But this isn’t the only book that treats its contents as ‘flowers’ in a literary garden:
• florilegium (n.) Latin for ‘flower-gathering’, florilegium dates from the 1600s and refers to what the Oxford English Dictionary calls ‘a collection of the flowers of literature’
• polyanthea (n.) from the Greek for ‘many flowers’, polyanthea has been used since the early 1600s to refer to a choice collection of poems or literary works
• pomander (n.) originally a container of scented flowers used to freshen clothes, pomander was also used to refer to a choice collection of prayers or poems in the sixteenth century
• spicilegy (n.) from the Latin for an ear of corn, a spicilegy is a literal ‘harvest’ of literary extracts
• sylva (n.) from a Latin word meaning ‘tree’, sylva came to refer to a treatise on horticultural matters in the seventeenth century, and from there any choice collection of written work
Who knows where each day will lead you?
Open The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities on any day of the year: you might leap back in time, learn about linguistic trivia, follow a curious thread or wonder at the web of connections brought to you by popular language blogger Paul Anthony Jones.
Within its pages you will discover a treasure trove of language, with etymological quirks and connections for every day of the year.
PAUL ANTHONY JONES is something of a linguistic phenomenon. He runs @HaggardHawks Twitter feed, blog and YouTube channel, revealing daily word facts to 39,000 engaged followers. His books include Word Drops (2015) and The Accidental Dictionary (2016). His etymological contributions appear regularly, from the Guardian to the Telegraph, Buzzfeed to Huffington Post and BBC Radio 4.
“Brilliant for anyone interested in the effervescent oddness of English” Stig Abell on Word Drops
He lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne and is available for all types of word-nerdery.