Sparkling with insight and linguistic curiosity, this delightful compendium answers 101 of the most intriguing questions about the English language, from word origins and spelling to grammar and usage. Irresistible to anyone with an interest in the words around them.The Blackout Crew have a song with the title 'Put a donk on it' - but what is a 'donk'? Which ending came first: '-ise' or '-ize'? Where does the idea of a 'white elephant' come from? Who decides on the collective noun for something? Why is the word 'hysterical' only really applied to women? Whatdid the word 'tragedy' mean originally? And what is it that made the crocodile cry?Supported by Oxford's celebrated dictionary research programme, Susie Dent tackles these and many other fascinating questions in this wonderfully accessible and endlessly entertaining exploration of the English language.