Gallimaufry: A hodgepodge of our vanishing vocabulary

Paperback | October 11, 2008

byMichael Quinion

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What is a gallimaufry anyway? And when did you last hear someone refer to the wireless? What was the original paraphernalia? Would you wear a billycock? Language is always changing, and here Michael Quinion, author of the bestselling POSH and Other Language Myths, has gathered together some fascinating examples of words and meanings which have vanished from our language. Sometimes a word is lost when the thing it describes becomes obsolete,sometimes it survives in a figurative sense while the original meaning is lost, and sometimes it simply gives way to a more popular alternative. The story of these and many other words opens a window into the lives of past speakers of the English language.

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From the Publisher

What is a gallimaufry anyway? And when did you last hear someone refer to the wireless? What was the original paraphernalia? Would you wear a billycock? Language is always changing, and here Michael Quinion, author of the bestselling POSH and Other Language Myths, has gathered together some fascinating examples of words and meanings wh...

Michael Quinion is editor of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. He is a professional writer who has written widely on the English language; he was a co-author of the second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of New Words and the author of Ologies and Isms. He also manages and writes for his own web site World Wide Words, launched ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.79 inPublished:October 11, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199551022

ISBN - 13:9780199551026

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Food and DrinkOf messes in potsSugar and spice and all things niceSkilligalee and boiled babiesFruits of grain and grapeBelow-stairs lifeHealth and MedicinePotions and curativesCaudles, cordials, and possetsThe parlance of physiciansDiseases and conditionsEntertainment and LeisureGames with cardsGames with thingsOutdoor gamesInvitation to a danceThe Food of LoveOf thimbleriggers and joculatorsNatural MagicTransport and FashionYour carriage awaitsRuffs and cuffs and farthingales and thingsCloth of AgesWigs on the greenGet ahead, get a hatNames, Employment and CommunicationsWhat's in a name?Obscure occupationsThe long and the short of itCan you hear me, mother?Going, going ... gone?EpilogueWords that never made itIndex of featured words

Editorial Reviews

`A fascinating book, full of the kind of authoritative information his readers have come to expect'Jonathon Green, World Wide Words