The Horologicon

  • by Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by Simon Shepherd
  • 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Horologicon - which means 'a book of things appropriate to each hour' - follows a day in the life of unusual, beautiful, and forgotten English words. From the moment you wake to the second your head hits the pillow, there's a cornucopia of hidden words ready for every aspect of your day.
Do you tend to lie in bed before dawn worrying? Then you have the Old English ailment of uhtceare. Uhtceare can lead on to dysania (inability to get out of bed) and other zwoddery problems, which many have suffered but few can name.
From encounters with office ultracrepidarians, lunchtime scamblers, and six o'clock sturmovschinas to the post-work joys of thelyphthoric grinagogs and nimtopsical nympholepsy, Mark Forsyth, author of the Sunday Times number one best seller The Etymologicon, unearths words that you didn't even know you needed. From antejentacular to bedward by way of nuncheon, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

amusing and informative, great combination

Would you listen to The Horologicon again? Why?

I would, because its very funny and full of strange facts about the history of English words. It is an entertaining listen for someone who loves learning and likes a chuckle whilst doing so.


What did you like best about this story?

how everything relates to each other. the circle of learning idea is a brilliant one. the end takes you right back to the beginning making it easy and very temping to re-listen straight away.


What about Simon Shepherd’s performance did you like?

he was easy to listen to and had a charming way of dishing out the information to the listener.


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh. I had to hold back large smiles when walking in public though, so as not to make someone thing I was crazy.


Any additional comments?

This is a great book for people who love learning new things and new words too.

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- steven

Wonderfully funny and informative

This book is an absolute treat - so good that I'm seriously thinking of buying a paper copy as well. It's a fantastic, idiosyncratic collection of rarely (or never) used English words, organised into a 'book of hours' or Horologicon - so that there are words related to getting up, breakfast, going into the office etc. It's very tongue-in-cheek and the only issue with it is that I usually buy audiobooks to help me get off to sleep, but I don't want to miss a word of this one!



Simon Shepherd does a wonderful job of reading it too, although it would have been helpful to have a few more spellings and a few less 'word - pronounced 'word'' given that this is an audio book and he's obviously already just pronounced it.
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- Penguin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-11-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios