Penguin Book


Why is Q Always Followed by U?

Michael Quinion

Michael Quinion's previous book on word histories Port Out Starboard Home was a huge hit, selling over 100,000 copies in the UK, and was serialised in the Sunday Times for six months. His World Wide Words site, which currently gets about 350,000 page hits a week, has run a Q&A section for over ten years and he has now collected the very best questions together into a book. It's light-hearted approach is underpinned by systematic research and has resulted in all kinds of strange and interesting discoveries about the words we all use every day. These include the curious origins of the words brassiere, dogsbody, fiddlesticks, eavesdropper along with the mystical phrase abracadabra, much beloved of conjurors; whether the stock-market jargon terms bull and bear derive from the names of famous banking houses; and bulldozer arises from the use of a bullwhip to force former slaves to vote for a particular candidate; who Larry is and why he's so happy and many, many other, highly enjoyable and irritatingly perplexing questions.

A contributor and writer for the OED, Michael Quinion has also been a BBC producer, museum curator and scriptwriter. He broadcasts a regular segment into the Bob Edwards Show on XM Satellite Radio in the US and contributes occasionally to PBS and BBC programmes, including Word of Mouth and Today.

Division
Penguin
Publication date
02/07/2009
Category
  • Language
Format TPS
198 x 129mm
Illustrations
No illustrations
Extent
368
US
Penguin
Translation
Penguin
Film
Penguin
Serial
Penguin
Audio (Unabridged)
Penguin
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