Coming this autumn: an entertaining and illuminating collection of weird, wonderful and downright baffling words from the origins of English…
‘The perfect way to be introduced to Old English. There is insight on every page’
– David Crystal, author of The Story of English in 100 Words
Old English is the language you think you know until you actually hear or see it. Used throughout much of Britain over a thousand years ago, it is rich with words that haven’t changed (like word), others that are unrecognisable (such as neorxnawang, or paradise) and some that are curious even in translation (gafol-fisc literally means tax-fish).
The Wordhord gathers these gems into a glorious trove of the strange, familiar and unexpectedly apt, and through them illuminates the lives, beliefs and habits of the earliest English speakers. We discover a world where choking on a bit of bread might prove your guilt, where fiend-ship was as likely as friend-ship, and you might grow up to be a laughter-smith.
These are the magical roots of the language you’re reading right now: you’ll never look at – or speak – English in the same way again.
The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English will be published in the UK by Profile Books on 4 November 2021!