Language, Humour & Games

  • A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

    English is enriched with many borrowings and influences from other languages. Aficionado, chutzpah, pro bono, hoi polloi, ketchup, nous, zeitgeist - we use these foreign words every day without thinking of their origins, but what do they actually mean?

    This book offers information for 'connoisseurs' (French) of the English language.

    $19.99
    $12.99
  • A Classical Education

    How many times have you wished that your history stretched all the way back to Greek and Roman myths and legends? Or that you'd been taught Latin at school? Or perhaps you wish you knew all about the great inventions and medical developments that have made our world what it is today?

    A Classical Education provides all of the classical facts that modern schooling leaves out and many more. Perfect for parents who wish to teach their children and for those who would like to learn or relearn the facts themselves. It includes: Latin and Greek; Logic and philosophy; Natural sciences; Art and architecture; Poetry and drama; History and Classical literature.

    $14.99
  • Addictionary: Brave New Words
    We all invent words and coin phrases; it's how language evolves. Addictionary: Brave New Words collects the best of these neologisms into this handy volume, organised into categories (including technology, politics, dating, sports, religion, and medicine) and cleverly illustrated throughout.

    A great gift for any wordsmith, Addictionary is on the cutting edge of the English language, staking claims on new linguistic territory with an arch blend of the sharply intellectual and the sublimely silly.
    $19.95
    $4.99
  • Around the World in 80 Cliches

    Whether cliché get under your skin or make you laugh, this dictionary of clichés goes the extra mile to provide an excellent reference for casual browsing or an in depth read.

    Cheeky and informative, each cliché is presented in such a way that is guaranteed to entertain. Know where your cliché comes from, so you won't be afraid to use it.

    $17.99
    $9.99
  • As Easy as Pi

    In this day and age it's hard to imagine a world without numbers. Our lives are centred around commerce and money, and it is the only language that's the same the world over. However, did you know that for a long period of time people could not get their heads around the idea of zero, a figure representing nothing, and that it was even regarded as heretical in some circles?

    As Easy As Pi is an entertaining and accessible guide, written for those who love numbers – and those who don't – and uncovers a great deal of lore and intriguing information. Features include:

    • Snippets of fascinating numerical facts
    • Myths and mysticism in the world of numbers
    • Numbers in language and used as slang
    • Pop culture trivia
    • Useful mathematical rules to remember

    $14.99
    $12.99
  • Avoid Them Like the Plague

    Cliches are a familiar part of the English language, but to be honest, many have been so over-used that they have become trite, meaningless and rather irritating. With this informative and humorous book, you are in a safe pair of hands as you learn about the origins and meanings of some of the most hackneyed phrases still used today.

    Avoid Them Like the Plague will keep you up to speed with clichés in their many forms – once useful but now overworked catchphrases ('move the goal posts'), worn-out sayings ('all hands on deck'), pointless phrases used to conceal a weak argument ('to be perfectly honest'), technical terms used out of context ('collateral damage') and many others. This fun and witty book aims to expose the self-importance or laziness that frequently lie behind the worst examples of these phrases and sheds light on why it's best to avoid them.

    Employing a combination of erudition, humour and occasional derision, Avoid Them Like the Plague thinks outside the box and really is the best thing since sliced bread for anyone who values good English and clear communication.

    $14.99
  • Blowfish's Oceanography

    The seas of our planet cover more than 70% of the Earth, yet we know less about the ocean depths than the surface of the moon. Join marine biologist and fish-fanatic Tom ‘the Blowfish’ Hird as he lifts the lid on a treasure chest of fascinating facts, to reveal just what we do know about what lurks beneath the waves.

    From the invisible world of meiofauna living in the sands of our beaches to a cephalopod called the ‘Vampire Squid from Hell’, Blowfish takes us on an incredible journey as he follows the currents from shoreline to the bone-crushing pressure of the deep sea. Featuring a full-colour plate section and vintage line drawings throughout, Blowfish’s Oceanopedia is a beautifully designed guide to what we know about our oceans and the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit them.

    $32.99
  • Buttering Parsnips, Twocking Chavs
    Twocking and chav are popular new arrivals in the ever-growing vocabulary of British slang.

    What do words and phrases like these have in common, and what sets them apart? How are new words and phrases born? What's special about the ones that enter common usage? How do mistakes and jokes affect a word's career? Why do some words die, never to be used again?

    With examples ranging from Shakespeare to text messaging, this is a browsable collection rich with amusing quotations, unusual anecdotes and clever wordplay

    $19.95
    $7.99
  • Can You Solve My Problems?

    Can You Solve My Problems? is not just a random list of skull-warping brain-teasers, but rather a skilfully curated anthology of puzzles.

    A good puzzle is ingenious, frustrating and a-ha!-inducing. In this entertaining and utterly addictive book, the author will challenge you to pit your wits against pangrams, hidatos, chessboard puzzles and a Singaporean schoolchild's maths paper. Piece of cake, right? Only if you know the scientific method for cutting cake correctly.

    Organised from easy-peasy to ninja level with stories of puzzle mysteries, histories and scandals along the way.

    $29.99
  • Dad Dancing

    Offering a wealth of highly useful information for the discerning dad, this guide documents embarrassing dad skills including such lists a:

    • 10 Worst Sentences Dads Can Slip into Wedding Speeches
    • 10 Fashion Fads Dads Really Shouldn't Have Bothered With
    • 10 Most Ridiculous Faces Dads Pull in Family Photographs

    Plus a handy diagrammatic guide to dancing like a dad, a "dad dictionary" of outdated and embarrassing phrases to use to shame your offspring in public, a guide to explaining technical things to people when you really don't have a clue what you're talking about, and much more.

    $17.99
  • David Astle's Gargantuan Book of Words

    Packed full of puzzles, quizzes and fun facts - along with heaps of funny drawings and appealing activities - this is the perfect book for kids aged 8 and above. A wordplay puzzle book from the wordplay master!

    A fun-filled, action-packed activity book by Australia's funniest and best-loved word guy! David Astle's Gargantuan Book of Words is jam-packed with wordy puzzles and other twisty tricks of the tongue.

    From the author of Wordburger, this is an entertaining and accessible activity book for the kid who likes puzzles, the kid who likes language, or the kid who just needs something to do that doesn't involve a screen.

    $19.99
  • Dictionary of Catchphrases
    Revised & expanded edition of this ever-popular guide gives the meanings & origins of 1200 traditional & modern catchphrases, such as: * Blondes have more fun * I've started so I'll finish * Did she fall or was she pushed? * It's all part of life's rich pageant. Drawn from a wide array of popular sources, the newly added phrases reflect linguistic & cultural developments since the late '90s.
    $17.95
    $12.95
  • Enigma 2
    Rediscover with 170+ brand-new illustrated puzzles (brain-teasers, games of logic, conundrums, riddles, paradoxes & word games) for solving alone or with friends – the pleasure of torturing your brain cells, defying your neurons & rising to every challenge.

    The book looks like a medieval, illuminated manuscript with the first letters of puzzles entwined with people, plants & flowers, vines & flowers.
    $39.99
  • Happy Quilter Word Search

    Turn idle time into fun time with 72 word search puzzles just for quilters!

    With topics all sewists can relate to like "Have iron, will travel" and "Best places to hide fabric," these large-print puzzles make a perfect gift for stitchers. Take this book with you in the airport, or host a contest among your guild friends. A helpful answer key is included.

    $19.99
  • Her Ladyship's Guide to the Art of Conversation

    The ability to engage and entertain your companions always stands you in good stead but many people feel nervous with strangers or fear that they lack the skills to put others at ease. Fortunately, Her Ladyship is on hand to help you become a conversationalist par excellence!

    Embracing all sorts of situations from formal parties and business receptions to chance encounters and dating, this charming guide covers common errors of conversational etiquette and offers countless suggestions on how to keep the banter flowing so you become the most valued of guests. Her Ladyship teaches you how to make yourself interesting, handle generational differences, deal with bores and much more.

    $22.99
  • How to Be a Hero
    Every man wants to be a hero - and now every man can. Learn what do in any emergency, how to save cats from trees, fix a flat tire, make the perfect cocktail, rescue a damsel in distress, perform the Heimlich maneuver and leap buildings in a single bound (well, not so much the last one).

    Witty, clever and packed with really useful information, this indispensable guide will help any man become a true knight in shining armor. Sam Martin is the best-selling author of How to Mow the Lawn, How to Keep House and Bringing Up Baby.
    $17.95
    $4.99
  • I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

    You may remember the famous opening lines, 'Tyger tyger, burning bright'? and 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' but would you be able to name the poems or the poets?

    The English language is jam-packed with wonderful verses that we've all heard at some point, but probably forgotten. I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud helps us remember all those long-forgotten poems that we were taught at school, together with short biographies of the poets and introductions to the poems themselves.

    The book features such greats as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Shelley, Coleridge, Kipling, Heaney and Yeats, the poems you may have once learned and others that have informed our everyday speech. Complete with a masterly index that allows readers to search not just by first lines, but by well-known phrases.

    $14.99
  • Joy of Mindful Writing

    Through meditative exercises, engaging anecdotes and astute notes on perception, imagination and focus, Joy Kenward helps you to flow, flourish and lose yourself in writing.

    Containing 20 mindful writing exercises, this unique guide explores how conscious writing creates mindful awareness, offering a fresh angle on shifting writer's block.

    $19.99
    $17.99
  • Like My Father Always Said

    From quips to short anecdotes, the book is divided up into all the sage and nutty information we garner from our fathers.

    Chapters include Growing Up Right, The Facts of Life, Dad's Soft Spot, Got It from Grandpa, The Sporting Life and Ask Your Mother.

    $17.99
    $9.99
  • Like My Teacher Always Said

    This volume heads for the classroom to celebrate what we gleaned from perhaps the most obvious candidates for learning: our teachers.

    The book includes both full-page tales and short quips. The material is exceptionally rich and comes from a diverse roster of characters – from primary school instructors and piano teachers to Catholic school nuns, guidance counsellors, coaches and mentors.

    This book is a perfect way to inspire memories of student days and an ideal gift for teachers to show your appreciation for the influence they’ve had on your life.

    $24.99