Cheerio Tom, Dick and Harry

Despatches from the hospice of fading words

Ruth Wajnryb
AUD $29.99
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From wordmeister Ruth Wajnryb, a witty and thought provoking examination of the words that once peppered our language but are now fading from use.

Wajnryb is the grammarian you always wanted: wise, wearing her erudition lightly and enlivening it with sly humour.'

Kirkus Reviews

Ruth Wajnryb embarks on a voyage of discovery among the words that once peppered the language of baby boomers and their parents to discover why they seem to be slipping from common use. Why is it that people don't say cheerio' any more, and, come to think of it, why did they in the first place? Do people still tinker with jalopies? And whatever happened to Tom, Dick and Harry, not to mention all those other folk who provided us with such excellent conversational shorthand? Filled with entertaining vignettes and intriguing etymology, Ruth has created an imaginary hospice that offers a caring refuge for pre-loved words that are in imminent danger of being dismissed as obs' (for

obsolete') or arch' (for archaic') in English dictionaries.

Written with Ruth Wajnryb's characteristic intelligence, sly wit and lan, Cheerio Tom, Dick and Harry examines the way in which our everyday language reflects and gives expression to the enormous changes that have taken place in our physical and social landscape over the last fifty years or so.

Author bio:

Dr Ruth Wajnryb is an applied linguist, researcher and writer. She has a regular weekly column in The Sydney Morning Herald's 'Saturday Spectrum' in which she explores often offbeat linguistic topics with that lightness of touch she brings to this new project. This is her third book with Allen + Unwin and her twelfth in total.

Category: Writing & Language
ISBN: 9781741149937
Table Of Contents: Contents


1 The Hospice

PART I As the pace quickens

2 Cheerio

3 Peopled phrases

4 Darn

5 Tinker

6 Hobby

7 Steady

PART II Old ways, old language

8 Jalopy

9 Handkerchief

10 Hats

11 Nongs and yobbos

PART III Quainteries eschewed

12 Colourful language

13 Fixed rejoinders

14 Doubling up

15 Mercers

16 As easy as

17 Useful tits

18 Cockney rhyming slang

19 Odds and sods

PART IV Victims of modern candour

20 Sexuality

21 The fall

22 Dying and death

23 Consumption, hysteria, ticker and coming out

24 Black dog

25 Bad

PART V A new century with its own sensibilities

26 Body bits

27 Mad

28 Stupid

29 Ought

30 Honey

31 Fortitude

32 Modesty

PART VI The past is dead, long live the future

33 Cooking

34 Histor
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: July 2007
Page Extent: 288
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 0 - 0
0 - 0
Subject: Language