The Horologicon- Mark Forsyth

Disclaimer: I received The Horologicon free from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them. Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That’s fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparkling deipnosophist. From Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, this is a book of weird words for familiar situations. From ante-jentacular to snudge by way of quafftide and wamblecropt, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.


I love, love, loved Mark Forsyth’s previous book The Etymologicon. So much so that I had to make a second post just to talk about all the words I tweeted about whilst reading it. I was super excited to read The Horologicon, and had planned to buy it when I went to a Mark Forsyth event which was meant to be last week (but was cancelled because apparently people in Birmingham don’t appreciate words *sob*), however when I saw it up on netgalley I snatched it up right away.

Maybe my expectations were too high but I didn’t like it as much.I think partially because it was in much bigger blocks. You couldn’t pick it up, read a paragraph and put it down again. That made it less tweetable, and also made it less easy to remember the words and information.

Maybe because it was on a less broad topic I found less of the words really interested me too, although I did tweet a couple which interested me. I did find I was telling other people about what I was reading rather than tweeting it because that broke my reading flow less. My boyfriend claimed that Forsyth made half the book up, but I think he’s  (my boyfriend) just being cynical.

I like the idea that you could skip between chapters depending on what time of the day it was, but it’s not very realistic. I did find occasionally my reading fit with what I was doing- and I think the experience was improved by that.

If you liked The Etymologicon you will probably like this one too, but if you haven’t read either I would recommend The Etymologicon over this one.


Buy it:

Kindle (£5.99)

Hardback (£7.92)

Other Reviews:

I know a few people on my blogroll are reading The Horologicon, but no reviews yet 😦

If you have reviewed this book drop me a line and I will add your link here.


Filed under Language, non-fiction review

12 responses to “The Horologicon- Mark Forsyth

  1. Isi

    This review only tells me how much I need to read The etymologicon 🙂
    Seriously, I’ll read it.


  2. Yes. Do, do, do!


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