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
  • 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
  • An Apple a Day

    Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Can beggars be choosers? Is it always better late than never?

    Proverbs are short, well-known, pithy sayings that offer advice or words of encouragement and are used in everyday English without much thought ever being given to their meanings, or indeed, usefulness. An Apple A Day explores the truth behind our favourite proverbs, their history and whether they offer any genuine help to the recipient.

    Did you know that The Old Testament has an entire book devoted to proverbs? Or that 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is a proverb from falconry that dates back to the Middle Ages? Many proverbs are still in use today, including the very famous 'slow and steady wins the race', which derives from one of the many fables of Aesop.

    Light-hearted but authoritative, An Apple A Day proves that proverbs are as useful today as they ever were.

    $14.99
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Optimist's Guide to Understanding Women

    This handbook demystifies women – enlightening you on every aspect with easy-to-follow advice:

    • How, when and where to meet women without getting arrested

    • How to hold your own in conversation

    • Things not to do in front of ladies

    • How to second-guess what mood she's in without risk of injury

    • The power of gifts, etc

    $8.95
    $4.99
  • Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations
    From the first name in reference - the words behind the letters. If you don't know what they stand for you just might find yourself unable to understand basic English. Includes:
    * Nearly 20 000 abbreviations from all fields
    * Slang, internet, scientific and technical jargon
    * Text-messaging abbreviations
    * Subject labels that put each into perspective.
    $12.95
    $5.95
  • Quid Pro Quo

    Now in paperback, Quid Pro Quo takes you on a fascinating journey along the highways and byways of Roman life and culture, telling the amazing stories behind the original Latin meanings and uses of hundreds of our everyday words.

    Taking in every aspect of the ancient world, including science, religion, military matters, politics and literature, the author shows just how much the English language owes to the ancient Romans and the role Latin has played in the creation of our vast vocabulary.

    $22.99
  • Shakespeare & the Art of Verbal Seduction
    Do you long to be seductive? Have a desire to be seduced? Then "let lips do what hands do" and put into practice the most enticing baubles of seduction ever written. Shakespeare and the Art of Verbal Seduction contains the Bard's best seducing lines to cajole, charm, and even proposition the object of your desire.

    Shakespeare is the master of persuasion. He induces the hardest of hearts to give up mind, body, and soul with a brilliant flash of words. Here they're collected for you, his little miracles of language, arranged in ten strategies for every stage of a love affair, from first encounter to the full throes of passion. Never again let your desire flounder in bad come-ons. Learn the art of seduction from the greatest seducer of all time, and get what you want.

    $19.95
    $5.99
  • Sounds Appealing

    It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it ...

    There have long been debates about 'correct' pronunciation in the English language, and Britain's most distinguished linguistic expert, David Crystal, is here to set the record straight. Sounds Appealing tells us exactly why and how we pronounce words as we do.

    Pronunciation is integral to communication, and is tailored to meet the demands of the two main forces behind language: intelligibility and identity. Equipping his readers with knowledge of phonetics, linguistics and physiology – with examples ranging from Eliza Doolittle to Winston Churchill – David Crystal explores the origins of regional accents, how they are influenced by class and education and how their peculiarities have changed over time.

    $29.99