Balderdash & Piffle: One Sandwich Short of a Dog's Dinner

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BBC, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 240 pages
3 Reviews
The stories behind our most intriguing words and phrases Follows the success of the first Balderdash and Piffle book, which went to Number One on Amazon and sold over 30,000 copies to the consumer The accompanying BBC television series attracted an average of 2.7 million viewers, with peak ratings reaching 3.4 million The new 8-part series of Balderdash & Piffle begins in April Balderdash & Piffle: One Sandwich Short of a Dog's Dinner is a thrilling ride through the provocative, bewildering, and often downright bizarre world of language and etymology. From the brash jargon of celebrity magazines to the delicacies and feints of the euphemism, author and word-sleuth Alex Games has uncovered the remarkable stories that lie behind some of our best-loved words and expressions. By grouping words into distinct themes--such as put downs and insults, the vocab of fashionistas, and the lingo of dodgy dealings--Balderdash & Piffle looks at the English language in a fresh and revealing light. Who was the original Jack the Lad? What is the tragic story behind the expression Sweet F.A.? Balderdash & Piffle will show you where thugs come from, why 'barmy’ once had more to do with your beer than your brain, and how a little bit of 'hanky-panky’ could literally work magic. From the 'Cloud-cuckoo-land’ of Aristophanes to the town of Balaclava, this is a funny but rigorously researched account of English words and their origins. Drawing together sources as diverse as William Shakespeare, David Cameron, and the Burnham-on-Sea Gazette, Alex Games recalls the trends, innovations, and scandals that have produced some of our most familiar but least explored words and phrases. Accompanying a brand new series of the hit BBC show Balderdash & Piffle--and containing all the results of the 'Wordhunt’ from the first series--this entertaining book is a treasure trove for English-language lovers everywhere.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ghostlove - LibraryThing

As a language geek, I get several books like this every Christmas and birthday. Most end up being loaned out or regifted, but I really did enjoy this one. I had some disagreements over the etymology of certain words and phrases but on the whole this was a thoroughly entertaining read. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wulf - LibraryThing

An interesting and entertaining read although I was not quite convinced of some of the details presented (having heard alternative versions in the past and not being given enough evidence to change my mind). Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Alex Games wrote the original Balderdash & Piffle which became an instant bestseller on publication in January 2006. He has written for most of the slightly posher newspapers, and in a brief stint as a gadget columnist he was responsible for reviewing some of the most inexpensive items ever to appear in the Financial Times. As well as writing comedy for BBC Radio 1 and 4, Alex has written biographies of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and Alan Bennett.

Victoria Coren is a well-known freelance journalist. She writes weekly columns in the Guardian and the Observer, and she has written two books, Love 16 and Once More With Feeling. She presents Balderdash & Piffle and several televised poker series. Victoria is a keen amateur word-hunter and an avid completer of crosswords, albeit not always with the right answers.

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