Language, Humour & Games

  • 1001 Quotations to Inspire You Before You Die

    1001 Quotes To Inspire You Before You Die presents multicultural aphorisms, adages and axioms from numerous brilliant minds over the past 7,000 years.

    This book takes familiar quotations from around the world and contextualizes and analyses them. It covers the whole span of recorded history, from Confucius – whose I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. encapsulates modern distinctions between teaching styles – to Donald Rumsfeld's remark about known unknowns and unknown unknowns, which raises important and interesting questions of cognition and risk...

    Much wisdom and inspiration has been gained over the course of human history from the words of shamans, philosophers, historians, scientists, artists and satirists, among others, and the book gives the underlying meanings and subsequent interpretations of the quotations, offering so much more than the words themselves. To be or not to be is not really the question: the real question is what did Hamlet mean by it?

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Around the World in 80 Cliches

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

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Her Ladyship's Guide to Modern Manners

    A guide to modern manners, this enlightening and useful book strikes a balance between the stuffy, rigid rules of the 1950s and today's anything-goes school of thought. It is packed with good-humoured advice for the way we live today, but also discusses which formal points of etiquette are still relevant in the 21st century.

    • Introduction: who needs manners?
    • A Few Basics: punctuality (and overstaying your welcome), saying sorry and when it's best to lie
    • Party People: invitations, playing host, being a good guest, meeting and greeting
    • What to Wear: avoiding the pitfalls of modern dress codes
    • Rites of Passage: christenings, weddings and funerals
    • Eating Out: from saying grace to understanding cutlery
    • Going to Stay: following house rules, helping out, not making yourself too much at home
    • Getting Around: the rules of public transport and how to avoid road rage
    • Communications: how to make a phonecall and write an email
    • A Good Day at the Office: how to conduct yourself at work

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Naturally Mindful

    In a fast-paced urban world of pressure, stress and anxiety, Naturally Mindful provides the opportunity to stop time, reflect and take a moment to live consciously.

    Aspire to a sense of calm awareness and learn how mindfulness can teach you to enjoy and respect the natural world. Small enough to carry around on walks, Naturally Mindful offers practical solutions by going back to basics; with reminders to value the world around us and to work harder to preserve a spiritually nurturing environment through patience, self-awareness and a relaxed consciousness.

    Re-discover the instrinsic value of nature and how it can inspire us to seek spiritual satisfaction, change the way we interact with our environment, develop a more sustainable world and create a better, more hopeful future.

  • Older But Not Wiser

    In the realm of amusing, deadpan greetings cards, Cath Tate is the original and best. In her thirty-year career she has created thousands of witty, original and often subversive cards, featuring grim-faced old ladies, ludicrously dressed 1920s gentlemen and bizarre-looking children, paired with text that perfectly captures her highly individual and devastatingly funny view on the world.

    This hilarious book – an ideal birthday gift – brings together the best of Cath's work on ageing. Wise, cynical and – very occasionally – warm, it is packed with insights into this sadly universal process, whether we choose to embrace it or defy it.

    After all, as Cath says, "Age doesn't matter – unless you're a cheese."

  • 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

  • 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.
  • Quid Pro Quo

    In this original and highly accessible book, Peter Jones takes the reader 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, Jones 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.

  • 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.