Review: ‘The Horologicon: A day’s jaunt throught the lost words of the English language’ by Mark Forsyth

The Horologicon: A day’s jaunt through the lost words of the English Language

Mark Forsyth

Icon Books


I’ve just finished reading this book. The author doesn’t recommend reading it straight through, instead treating it as a reference work to be consulted at the appropriate hour of the day, unless one wishes to go mad. I used to read dictionaries for fun (don’t ask) so, really, it’s quite probable that I am already mad. That being the case, I’ve spent the past couple of morning’s making my way through this witty volume.

I laughed like a drain all the way through. Mark Forsyth is a clever writer; his talent for finding and using obscure words is truly remarkable. No longer will I suffer from utcare; I shall rise from my bed and take up this little volume. And when Bulls’s Noon comes I shall probably still be looking through it.

I really must get his first book, The Etymologicon; if it’s as good as The Horologicon I am certain of a good read.

I heartily recommend this book if you’re interested in the lost words of the English language, ever feel tongue-tied, in need of new ways to insult your boss without getting the sack, or just want a new word to say that you, or somebody else, are drunk.

Mark Forsyth blogs at

And his Twitter is @inkyfool

Bye for now,