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#TuesdayBookBlog SPEAK CHUCKABOO, SLANG OF THE VICTORIAN AND STEAM ERAS (Author Tool Chest) by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene (@teagangeneviene) Rum ti tum with the chill off! Excellent! #authors

Hi all:

I bring you a non-fiction book by an author whose fiction has often been featured on my blog. You’ll love this one!

Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras (Author Tool Chest) by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras (Author Tool Chest) by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Back in the days of steam engines and mannerly people, a chuckaboo was one’s dear friend. This volume contains slang from the Victorian Era, as well as the Steam Era, which began before the reign of Queen Victoria, and continued into the early 1900s. It combines language from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Steam Eras because there was a great deal of overlap.
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This slang dictionary also contains a sprinkling of vocabulary words of those eras, which have fallen out of use, along with some history and trivia.
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While every effort was made to be as historically accurate as possible, this compilation is not meant to be a scholarly work. It is intended for fictional use and entertainment purposes.
Have fun speaking chuckaboo. You’re positively rum ti tum with the chill off! Simply hunky dory.

International link:

relinks.me/B0B9W38LDJ

Author Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

About the author:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com


Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?

https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM/

My review:

I discovered author Teagan Riordáin Geneviene through her blog quite a few years ago. I followed her three things stories (where she would write a serial, a chapter per week, following the suggestions left by readers), her three ingredients stories, and I discovered her longer works of fiction, which I recommend as well. She has a wonderful imagination, she can create characters and worlds that enchant, intrigue, and move readers, and she has a way of keeping the brain of the readers ticking and guiding their thoughts in unexpected directions.

Quite apart from her gift for fiction, the author has an evident love for research. When she sets her stories in a historical period (the Victorian era, the 1920s, the 1950s…), she peppers her narrative with details that bring it to life: songs of the period, inventions and discoveries of the era, styles of dress and fashion, makeup, colours, foods and drinks, recipes… You are immersed totally in the story and experience it through all your senses (yes, smells as well). I have learned about objects, historical characters, social mores and habits, transportation, and a wealth of information even about eras I thought I knew about, having read plenty of books and watched movies about the period. But you can trust Riordáin Geneviene to find some golden nugget of information you’d never heard about or the explanation for a particular saying that has always intrigued you.

One of the aspects of research I most appreciate in her stories is her use of words, expressions, turns of phrases, and jargon belonging to the location and historical age. Anybody who loves language is fascinated by how certain sayings and words came into being, and how and when became fashionable or dropped out of use. Any author who wants to write credible stories set in the past has to consider how the characters would have behaved and addressed each other. And that is why a dictionary of Slang, such as this one, is an invaluable asset and should be in any author’s tool chest.

The book is organised as a dictionary, with relevant entries for each letter, cross-references to other uses of similar words or expressions, and a short article containing relevant information about the period accompanying each new letter (related to a word beginning with that letter, of course). There are plenty of amusing expressions, notes on the dates when some of the expressions or words were first introduced, also some explanations as to why some of the most unusual terms came into being (I loved the entry about trousers. Oh, the Victorians and the legs!), and there is a sense of fancy and fun permeating the whole book.

I was surprised to discover that many expressions originating from the Victorian period were still in use (or at least I’d heard people using them, but that might be because I moved around a lot and met many people in different places and of all ages), at least in the UK. I was not surprised to discover that there were tonnes of words to refer to men and women’s genitals and to having sex (these are the Victorians we’re talking about, after all. Tell me what you don’t want to talk about openly, and I’ll tell you what you’re really thinking of). There were also many words for criminals and crimes of all sorts, prostitution, drinking, and drunkards, and a fair amount to refer, pretty humorously, to people of different social classes. There are also some true gems: words no longer in use that clearly and succinctly described feelings or thoughts that we don’t have a word for nowadays. (I love Excruciators: tight shoes, as I have suffered those more than once, and Gwenders: the numbness or tingling felt in the fingers when they’re cold.)This is a fun read, but also one that made me stop and think because language reflects so well the way people lived in that era.

The series Author Tool Chest also includes Speak Like a Flapper – Slang of the 1920s, and I hope the author will keep adding to it.

I recommend this book to all Writatives (‘one who loves or is inclined to write’) and all readers, especially those enamoured with language. It is Rum ti tum with the chill off (excellent)!

For those of you who enjoy a sample, the author shared the entries for the letter A of this book on her blog. You can check them out here.

Thanks to the author for another fun and witty book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to share with anybody who might be interested, to leave a comment, like, click, and especially, to keep safe and keep smiling. ♥

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview THE OTFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY by John Dolan (@JohnDolanAuthor) Put your sense of humour to the test if you dare! #humour

Hi all:

One of my favourite authors is back again, and this time he’s thrown us a curb-ball.

The Otford English Dictionary by John Dolan

The Otford English Dictionary by John Dolan

Not to be confused with The Oxford English Dictionary, this is a reference book for the incurably cynical. Containing hundreds of definitions of a corny or inappropriate nature, it is the ideal gift for that person who hankers after the Good Old Days before political correctness, and who thinks a damn good hiding is still the best cure for anxiety.

If you are easily offended, you should probably buy a proper dictionary; though that won’t make you feel any less depressed about the modern world. But, let’s be honest, what could?

https://www.amazon.com/Otford-English-Dictionary-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B09VF8XDXM/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Otford-English-Dictionary-John-Dolan/dp/B09VF8XDXM

https://www.amazon.es/Otford-English-Dictionary-ebook/dp/B09VF8XDXM/

 About the author:

“Makes a living by travelling, talking a lot and sometimes writing stuff down. Galericulate author, polymath and occasional smarty-pants.”

John Dolan hails from a small town in the North-East of England. Before turning to writing, his career encompassed law and finance. He has run businesses in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He and his wife Fiona currently divide their time between Thailand and the UK.

He is the author of the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ mystery series and the ‘Children of Karma’ mystery trilogy.

https://www.amazon.com/John-Dolan/e/B008IIERF0/

Author John Dolan

My review:

I have been a fan of John Dolan’s books for a number of years now, and although he is best known for his two pretty special detective/mystery series, set mostly in the Philippines, he’s published other books that fit less easily into a standard genre (not that his mysteries are formulaic in any way), and I’ve enjoyed it enormously as well. I’d read anything Dolan publishes without hesitation, and this unique book is further evidence of that. I didn’t know I needed this unique dictionary until I became aware of its existence, but now, it’s difficult to believe I’d manage all this time without it.

How can I comment on this book? As the description says, it is a dictionary. Not an exhaustive one, of course, as this is a rather short book, but a lot of us would be able to navigate most aspects of our everyday lives using the words in this dictionary. Although, depending on what we are doing and who we’re interacting with, we’d be better off keeping the definitions to ourselves. Because incurably cynical or not, most everybody would find something to feel offended about, or at least, feel one’s sense of humour stretched to the limit. Unless, of course, you have learned to laugh at yourself, and then, well, you’ll have a ball.

The book combines some of the best characteristics of what is considered “British humour”: we have puns and wordplay; we have a very dry sense of humour; we have self-deprecation; we have touches of the absurd and the whimsical; we have rude and politically incorrect comments (that ring so very true!); a fair bit of lateral thinking; and, of course, tons of wit.

I’m not sure what else can I say… The list of warnings would be too long to include (no topic is left untouched and nothing is safe or sacred here), and, this is not a book to read all in one go, although it is difficult to stop once you get going. On the other hand, you need to have your wits about you, because some of the definitions rely on pronouncing the words aloud, others on thinking outside of the box or making unusual connections, and you might miss much if you don’t give each definition sufficient time. So, read it in small doses, nip in and out of its pages, and go back to it again and again. I recommend rationing its laughs and pleasures to make it last because we all need a good dose of cynicism and a smart retort every so often.

It’s difficult to choose what to share to give prospective readers an idea of what to expect, but I’ll share a bit of the introduction, where the author explains his intentions and one of his definitions.

 If you are looking for a learned work to assist with your wordsmithing, this is not it. If, on the other hand, you like an unseemly chuckle to relieve an otherwise tedious day, then this might be your thing. Of the definitions you will find in these pages, some are corny, some rely on wordplay, some need to be read out loud, and many are downright inappropriate for the modern age.

 DOLANIC: adj. Term invented by the egotistical author of this tome to describe his writing: dark, peppered with gallows humour and often politically incorrect.

Now you know. If you aren’t put off by any of the comments above, congratulations. This dictionary is for you. Enjoy! And if you haven’t read any of Dolan’s previous books, what are you waiting for?

Thanks to the author for all the chuckles, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to share, like, comment, click, review, and keep smiling. 

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview THE GREENHILL DICTIONARY OF MILITARY QUOTATIONS by Chris Riddell (Illustrator), Peter G Tsouras (Editor) (@penswordbooks) A gift for fans of quotations and military history #militaryhistory

Hi all:

I bring you a non-fiction book that I think will appeal to many of you (or will make a fabulous gift for somebody you know):

The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations by Chris Riddell (Illustrator), Peter G Tsouras (Editor)

The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations by Chris Riddell (Illustrator), Peter G Tsouras (Editor)

‘A massive compilation casting light not only upon the pain, suffering and sheer insanity of war, but also upon the unique comradeship and exhilaration of battle… this is a valuable addition to the literature of reference.’ – The Spectator

Peter Tsouras brings 4,000 years of military history to life through the words of more than 800 soldiers, commanders, military theorists and commentators on war. Quotes by diverse personalities – Napoleon, Machiavelli, Atatürk, ‘Che’ Guevara, Rommel, Julius Caesar, Wellington, Xenophon, Crazy Horse, Wallenstein, T.E. Lawrence, Saladin, Zhukov, Eisenhower and many more – sit side by side to build a comprehensive picture of war across the ages.

Broken down into more than 480 categories, covering courage, danger, failure, leadership, luck, military intelligence, tactics, training, guerrilla warfare and victory, this definitive guide draws on the collected wisdom of those who have experienced war at every level. From the brutality and suffering of war, to the courage and camaraderie of soldiers, to the glory and exhilaration of battle, these quotes offer an insight into the turbulent history of warfare and the lives and deeds of great warriors.

https://www.amazon.com/Greenhill-Dictionary-Military-Quotations/dp/1784384771/

https://www.amazon.com/Greenhill-Dictionary-Military-Quotations-ebook/dp/B088ZYS361/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Greenhill-Dictionary-Military-Quotations-ebook/dp/B088ZYS361/

https://www.amazon.es/Greenhill-Dictionary-Military-Quotations-ebook/dp/B088ZYS361/

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Greenhill-Dictionary-of-Military-Quotations-Hardback/p/17753

About the authors:

Editor Peter G. Tsouras

Peter Tsouras has written critically-acclaimed alternate histories on D-Day, Gettysburg and Stalingrad. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. After army service in the US and Germany he retired from the US Army Reserve in 1994 in the rank of lieutenant colonel. After his army service Tsouras worked for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center (now the National Ground Intelligence Center) and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

https://www.fantasticfiction.com/t/peter-g-tsouras/

Illustrator Chris Riddell

Chris RiddellOBE (born 13 April 1962) is a British illustrator and occasional writer of children’s books and a political cartoonist for the Observer. He has won three Kate Greenaway Medals as well as the British librarians’ annual award for the best-illustrated children’s book, and two of his works were commended runners-up, a distinction dropped after 2002

Books that he wrote or illustrated have won three Nestlé Smarties Book Prizes and have been silver or bronze runners-up four times. On 9 June 2015, he was appointed the UK Children’s Laureate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Riddell

My review:

I received an early hardback review copy of this book from the publishers, which I freely chose to review.

I am sure I’m not alone in my love of quotations. The best of them summarise wise opinions on a subject, are humorous, surprising, enlightening, and can sometimes make us see something (or somebody) in a completely new light. They are also memorable and can encapsulate the main points of complex theories or simply an amusing and touching thought. We might not remember a whole novel, or play, or a treatise, but will often remember a quotation that particularly connected with us. Those are some of the reasons that attracted me to this book.

Another one of the reasons is the topic. I’m not an expert in military history, but there are aspects of it that crop up everywhere. Recently, with the COVID-19 crisis, many commentators have observed that the members of the government dealing with the different aspects of it (I’m talking about the Spanish government, but I think it applies to many others as well), have used language and terminology better suited to a military campaign than to a health emergency, and that is often the case in many walks of life. In a similar way to sports, metaphors and similes from the military world are frequently used to refer to any situation involving two opposing sides or views (regardless of the enemy not being even visible to the naked eye). And, if you work in a pretty competitive environment, you’re likely to have had Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, or Machiavelli’s The Prince recommended as reading material at some point. You catch my drift.

That’s why this book is such a great resource.  Lieutenant Colonel Tsouras explains in his acknowledgments the difficulties he had to find, identify, and classify all the quotations he needed when writing his books on military subjects, and how that resulted in several editions of this dictionary, always with room for improvement and expansion. Both in the acknowledgements and the preface, the author/editor (I feel although the original words are not his, the design and the careful selection of the sources represents an authorship in its own right) explains his process, his choices (there are over 6000 quotations split into almost 500 categories, in alphabetical order, but there could be very many more), and why we should not forget these men and women, their words, and their wisdom. As he says in the preface ‘They are not dead as long as they are remembered’. He makes sure that we are provided a context as well, so we don’t misunderstand the true intentions of the writer (or speaker), as we know is often the case with quotations.

The book is further enhanced by Chris Riddell’s illustrations. Those ink sketches are amusing and sharp, and rather than being generic and evenly distributed, they illustrate specific quotations and are perfectly suited to the text. I’d love to have more of them, but their scarcity makes them more compelling. This volume also contains a select bibliography and a biographical index which will be helpful to those whose interest is piqued by a particular quotation or historical (or contemporary) figure.

This is a great book to dip in and out of, and I’m sure you’ll all find some old favourites and discover some new ones. It is also a great resource to history teachers (and teachers in general), writers (not only of stories with military or action subjects), historians and those interested in such topics, fans of general knowledge, and people who love quotations and are forever looking for new sources and collections.

There are so many quotations in the book that it’s impossible to decide what to share, but here are two I’d never heard before (and that ring particularly true):

You cannot pay my Marines enough for what they do for this nation. But you sure can pay them too little.  (General Charles Krulak, testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 February 1999).

I always remember the Japanese soldier who outraged the sense of patriotism and duty of his superior officer by saying, ‘In Osaka I would get five yen for digging this gun pit; here I only get criticism.’ (General Sir Ian Hamilton, The Soul and Body of an Army, 1921).

Thanks to Rosie from Pen & Sword and to the author and illustrator for this book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review and keep safe and smiling!

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