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

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Published by BBC Books, part of Ebury Publishing

Format: Hardback


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EAN: 9781846072352
Published: 5 Apr 2007


About the book


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 television programme 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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What the critics say

It's the kind of show that sticks a boot up the posterior of those who claim the BBC is only interested in dumbing down pap these days
- Daily Star

It was fun, instructive and will appeal to the scholarly in all of us. I see no earthly reason why it should not, as it used to say on theatre posters, run and run
- Daily Mail

- The Times

About the Author

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.

Alex Games

More about Alex Games

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