Words, Words, Words

Houghmagandie, Knockers, Trolleys & Others

By: Diarmaid O Muirithe

Publication Date: November 2004


Words, Words, Words: Houghmagandie, Knockers, Trolleys & Others by Diarmaid O Muirithe

What is your problem if you are ringled to a flazzard? When is Chewidden Day? How might you get out of the langle? Why is going for a dacker a quite innocent activity in one place, but something rather more lewd elsewhere? Words, Words, Words probes lexicography, dialect, sexual practices, sport and social history to create a humorous and informative guide to some of the more bizarre byways of the English language. If you’ve ever had trouble telling your etymology from your entomology, this is the book for you.

‘His brilliant column in The Oldie is the first thing I turn to. He once called me a tome feek and I’m still blushing.’ – Joanna Lumley

‘Diarmaid O Muirithe knows his words. He knows them in their variations and in their sources, and knows what they mean when they don’t appear to mean anything. His knowledge is encyclopaedic and he conveys it with such wit, style and enthusiasm that he is never less than a delight to read.’ – William Trevor

‘Words, Words, Words sets you thinking about the sheer vivacity of linguistic expression – the width and wit of his erudition is impressive and lightly carried …. persaudes us of the joys of etymology.’ – Irish Times

‘Wit, blinding erudition, and the sheer joy of words: O Muirithe’s book is a treasure, a constant source of delight.’ – Terry Wogan


DIARMAID O MUIRITHE is a native of New Ross, County Wexford, and retired Senior Lecturer in Irish at University College Dublin. He is author of The Words We Use column in the Irish Times, A Word in Your Ear (1997), Folklore of County Wexford (1999) and A Dictionary of Anglo-Irish (2000). Read more here.



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Weight 0.25 kg
Dimensions 135 × 210 mm
Publication Date

November 2004


Paperback, 176pp