Word Perfect

Listen to a sample

What to expect

‘Susie Dent is a one-off. She breathes life and fun into words and language’ Pam Ayres

Lexicographer and all-round word expert, queen of Countdown‘s Dictionary Corner for over twenty years; regular columnist for the Independent,Radio Times and The Week, Susie Dent is a national treasure. Her warm witty tweets reintroducing us to the words that we all need more in our lives from scurryfunge (frantically tidying up by shoving things into a cupboard just before visitors arrive) to apricity, (the warmth of the sun on a winter’s day) are among the internet’s most shared – now she’s turning them into a linguistic almanac.

From 1 January to 31 December the reader will discover a curious coinage or a fascinating etymological fact linked that particular day — from the dramatic true story behind stealing someone’s thunder to the original Jack the Lad. Word Perfect. gathers all her very best discoveries from the true origin of freelancer which comes from knights who were FREE to use their LANCE for whoever paid most, rather than being tied to a single lord. (Also secretaries kept your SECRETS so were SECRETries).

Sticks and stones should probably be still avoided but words, especially in the hands of Susie Dent, will never hurt you. We don’t have to choose the negative, Word Perfect offers a vivid reminder that you can be gruntled, ruthful, couth, ruly, kempt, pecunious, toward, whelmed, and full of gorm. And we all need a bit more of that in our lives.

(P) 2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critics Review

  • I love this book. Nobody on earth knows more about the English language than Susie Dent and nobody writes about it more entertainingly. This is a treat for every day of the year

    GYLES BRANDRETH
  • Susie Dent is a national treasure

    RICHARD OSMAN
  • A golden vaulted cave of fascinating and funny hidden gems for people who love words, for people who aren’t that bothered about words and people who don’t even really like words…and that is the magic of Susie Dent.

    JO BRAND
  • Utterly addictive . . . unputdownable

    Daily Express
  • Stuffed with delightful words . . . it’ll keep Scrabble fanatics and wordsmiths entertained for hours

    Radio Times
  • Entertaining

    Spectator

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