Monday 20 August 2012

The Horologicon

A horoscope is a look (scope) at the hour (horo) that you were born. It's related to horology, which is the study of clocks, and to a horologicon, which is a book of hours, and - much more importantly - the title of my new book which comes out on November the first.

The Horologicon will not, I confess, address all, or even any, of the burning questions of horology. Instead, it is a book of strange and wonderful words that I've found cavorting at the back of the dictionary. However, unlike most books of strange and wonderful words, these are arranged in a useful manner. They are arranged by the hour of the day when you're most likely to need them.

So if, for example, you have ever woken up before dawn and lain abed worrying, The Horologicon tells you in chapter one (6am) that you are suffering from what the Old English called uhtceare, or anxiety experienced just before dawn. If you devote your life to the academic study of breakfast, you will find out in chapter three (8am) that you are an aristologist. And if you come home at midnight and wake everybody up by tramping around the house, it will explain that you are merely the victim of a nightingale floor.

The really important thing about the book, though, is that it has an absolutely beautiful blue and silver cover, which is as good a reason as any to order it now from Amazon, Blackwells, Foyles, Waterstones or the Book Depository; so that it slaps onto your doormat on November the second.

Ah, lovely.


  1. This book already has a place set for it next to my copy of The Etymologicon.

  2. Can't wait! And thank you so much for the preview of uhtceare - I'm using it already. Somehow makes it a bit more bearable to know there's a word for it with such an ancient pedigree!

  3. Mr Forsyth, you'd make an excellent salesman.

  4. Fantastic - a new book from the faboulous Mr Forsyth about words. Loads of lovely words!

    - Ptinid

  5. My husband and I are avid MY WORD players; this volume, besides being a joy to read and while helping me to succeed in working out the challenges I get, may also give me new and
    tougher test words for him. Thanks much.
    We had a ball reading the Etymologicon to each other.

  6. Possible words to add for the hours of darkness, or even a stand-alone bit on your page.three nouns and a verb.
    Between ingress and egress you might transgress and enjoy congress

  7. I am a 16 year old girl and I bought The Etymologicon when I was 15 and I can tell you it was extremely fascinating!
    I look forward to buying The Horologicon soon!

  8. Giving this book to my 12 year old namesake for her birthday.