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Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past

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Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn of phrase, exclamation of joy, or witty barb, it's easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich words deserving of rejuvenation. Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and funny anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use. Let's Bring Back: Th Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn of phrase, exclamation of joy, or witty barb, it's easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich words deserving of rejuvenation. Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and funny anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use. Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition takes readers on a philological journey through words from the not-too-distant past. From all-overish to zounds, the vintage vernacular collected here will make any reader the cat's meow among friends, relations, and acquaintances.


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Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn of phrase, exclamation of joy, or witty barb, it's easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich words deserving of rejuvenation. Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and funny anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use. Let's Bring Back: Th Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn of phrase, exclamation of joy, or witty barb, it's easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich words deserving of rejuvenation. Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and funny anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use. Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition takes readers on a philological journey through words from the not-too-distant past. From all-overish to zounds, the vintage vernacular collected here will make any reader the cat's meow among friends, relations, and acquaintances.

30 review for Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 5* of five ***I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway; the publisher made no request that I write a review*** The Publisher Says: Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn of phrase, exclamation of joy, or witty barb, it's easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich words deserving of rejuvenation. Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and funny anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use. Let' Rating: 5* of five ***I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway; the publisher made no request that I write a review*** The Publisher Says: Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn of phrase, exclamation of joy, or witty barb, it's easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich words deserving of rejuvenation. Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and funny anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use. Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition takes readers on a philological journey through words from the not-too-distant past. From all-overish to zounds, the vintage vernacular collected here will make any reader the cat's meow among friends, relations, and acquaintances. My Review: I've mentioned earlier that I am a fan of browser-books. I think most people who've read a few of my reviews will sense that I'm a wordnik. I collect and treasure weird and wonderful words, and colorful turns of phrase, and I enjoy using them all. Along comes this beautiful, beautiful package of browsing delights, many new to me (which is quite an achievement since I have so many of this kind of book) and many old friends, presented in the best possible way to please my aesthetic. The case is printed in three colors, purple, green, and black; it is beautifully composed, with a very William-Morris-wallpaper overall design, a blind-stamped decorative double cartouche, and type!, and charmingly Victorian illustration of a typewriter. The requisite bar code and sales bunf is printed on a band slipped around the back board. The endsheets are printed in the case's green color, at its most intense saturation used in the book; the front endsheet has a printed "ex libris" that made me chuckle: "Darling, Please...don't forget to bring back this book." The text is printed in two colors, with multiple small and fine design elements in screens of the black and orange used. There is not one register problem that I could find, and I looked. It's a seamless and charming presentation that enhances the exuberantly recherché compendium of these glorious nuggets of expression. So the publisher is sending a signal by making these choices, that the contents of the book so charmingly and carefully designed are to be valued and given attention to; the presentation isn't merely informative, though it is that, it's also visually arresting and enhances the message being delivered. Things material need not be uniformly, grimly, boringly samey-samey. Make your choice for the colorful, and it will be rewarded. The words and phrases themselves? How about "kicksy-wicksy" (agreeably drunk), "chickabiddy" (young girl), "rinky-dink" (shabby or insignificant)? It's a small sampling, but it shows you what the author is about. She wants Norma Loquendi to take back the colorful and the powerful and the expressive from the gray, grim grip of PC and dumbed-down dimness of Bureaucratical Babble. There are two other volumes in this series of wonderful compendia: Let's Bring Back (calling cards! cuckoo clocks!) and Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition (the Angel's Tit will henceforth be my go-to order in bars). Clearly Blume and I are soul siblings. She says out loud, to a large (I hope) bookbuying audience, what I grouse about in my red leather wingback over scotch and sodas. Bless you, good Madam. I am your devoted acquaintance, aspiring to friendhood. This review first appeared at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    While I was definitely very much looking forward to reading Lesley M.M. Blume's Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past (as reference books on language and word usage are amongst my favourite non-fiction indulgences), I have to categorically state and admit that I have been sadly and massively frustrated and disappointed. For one, while Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language While I was definitely very much looking forward to reading Lesley M.M. Blume's Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past (as reference books on language and word usage are amongst my favourite non-fiction indulgences), I have to categorically state and admit that I have been sadly and massively frustrated and disappointed. For one, while Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past certainly does present a plethora of interesting and fun words, idiomatic expressions and the like, the author's claim that ALL of these are supposedly forgotten and no longer in current use is at best rather misleading and at worst simply not at all the truth (since not only am I personally familiar with the vast majority of the presented and featured inclusions but I also do indeed make regular use of many of them in my day-to-day conversations as well as in my written correspondences). And for two, while for some of the words shown and described in Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past, Lesley M.M. Blume does at least provide a bit of etymological background details, for the lion's share (and yes, I am deliberately using one of the included expressions here to show that very many of the supposedly forgotten and no longer in use idioms etc. are indeed and in fact still common and known) there generally is no or at best only annoyingly scant linguistic background and etymological details provided. Combined with the fact that Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past also includes no separate bibliography with suggestions for further reading, I really can only (and with much personal annoyance) consider a one star rating at best (because Let's Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past has simply and absolutely not at all been what I both expected and wanted, and basically, for the money I spent purchasing this book, it has really and sadly been a complete and majorly frustrating waste of my precious reading time).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    If you were a child of the 90s, most of these words you heard on Nickelodeon, repeats of Looney Tunes and old shows on Nick At Nite. I feel like this is a case of the author underestimating her audience. Very disappointing. Most of these words and expressions I still hear and see in common use both among family members, friends, and in media. It wasn't completely devoid of new material for me and some of it gave background information on phrases I already knew but I bought this expecting archaic If you were a child of the 90s, most of these words you heard on Nickelodeon, repeats of Looney Tunes and old shows on Nick At Nite. I feel like this is a case of the author underestimating her audience. Very disappointing. Most of these words and expressions I still hear and see in common use both among family members, friends, and in media. It wasn't completely devoid of new material for me and some of it gave background information on phrases I already knew but I bought this expecting archaic and dead phrases and words ala The Word Museum or Forgotten English. I can't say it was worth the money I paid for it. It is a nicely put together book, very pretty and such, but ultimately a let down.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Myra

    Cute idea, but I use a good number of these words included. It's scarcely the "Lost Language" edition if many of the words are still familiar. Cute idea, but I use a good number of these words included. It's scarcely the "Lost Language" edition if many of the words are still familiar.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sharla

    I was disappointed with this book. I expected interesting facts about why certain phrases came to be, and when they were commonly used. This book does have some of that. But I felt that many of the words and phrases it included are still commonly used, or at least known to many people, like the word "classy" for instance. Some definitions were very poor and did little to explain a word's meaning. I was disappointed with this book. I expected interesting facts about why certain phrases came to be, and when they were commonly used. This book does have some of that. But I felt that many of the words and phrases it included are still commonly used, or at least known to many people, like the word "classy" for instance. Some definitions were very poor and did little to explain a word's meaning.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    The construction of the book is beautiful. I love the cover. I love the colors, the embossing, the typeset, everything on the cover. I love that it’s got a ribbon bookmark. Unfortunately the inside art appears to be comprised of clip art. I expected to love the book, but I didn’t. I am familiar with most of the terms here, and frequently use many of them. It is not a collection of lost language. Also I find that the choice of phrases themselves is just not that interesting to me. The information The construction of the book is beautiful. I love the cover. I love the colors, the embossing, the typeset, everything on the cover. I love that it’s got a ribbon bookmark. Unfortunately the inside art appears to be comprised of clip art. I expected to love the book, but I didn’t. I am familiar with most of the terms here, and frequently use many of them. It is not a collection of lost language. Also I find that the choice of phrases themselves is just not that interesting to me. The information about the phrases is not particularly interesting or entertaining. I was very disappointed. On the positive side, I read a lot of cozy mysteries that are set in World War II and before, and I think some of these words may be used in those books, so it’s helpful that there is a reference for them. I also want to thank the author because I have always wanted to know what it means to say that something is “stuck in my craw“. According to this book a craw is a stomach and so it means something you cannot digest (accept) easily.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James

    A lot of fun, and very interesting. The book is exactly what the subtitle says it is, a dictionary of archaic words and phrases. Many were no doubt cliches in their time, but with disuse they sound fresh and conjure vivid images today. I got this to use as a writing reference, but it would be a pleasure to read for its own sake. It is a tad humbling, however, to realize that I was around when a fair number of these bits of language weren't obsolete yet! A lot of fun, and very interesting. The book is exactly what the subtitle says it is, a dictionary of archaic words and phrases. Many were no doubt cliches in their time, but with disuse they sound fresh and conjure vivid images today. I got this to use as a writing reference, but it would be a pleasure to read for its own sake. It is a tad humbling, however, to realize that I was around when a fair number of these bits of language weren't obsolete yet!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I wasn't over the moon about this book simply because A LOT of the words and phrases are ones I not only hear but do still use on a regular basis. Something I didn't care for in the book was the author's tone. Not likely to pick up another of her books despite my interest in words, phrases and all things of days past. I wasn't over the moon about this book simply because A LOT of the words and phrases are ones I not only hear but do still use on a regular basis. Something I didn't care for in the book was the author's tone. Not likely to pick up another of her books despite my interest in words, phrases and all things of days past.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ampersand Inc.

    The latest from long time contributing style editor of the Huffington Post , Lesley M. M. Blume. This book will have you recollecting your favourite forgotten words, phrases, names and facts. Preparing you to shine at your next social gathering with fast-talking, vintage inspired conversation!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pammy

    I was hoping for a little more explanation, detail, source of origin, etc. Author tries to be witty and clever, but that left me indifferent. This was a gift, but I doubt if I will keep as a reference book in my personal library.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This was a delightful little collection of old words and phrases. As Blume mentions in the intro, not all of these are *extinct* sayings. Many of them are simply endangered. Indeed, though I've heard many, there were few that I feel like I hear with any kind of regularity. My one complaint was that a few of the words don't have a proper definition given, or even a good example sentence. They do that thing where you basically use the word to define itself, assuming that the audience already under This was a delightful little collection of old words and phrases. As Blume mentions in the intro, not all of these are *extinct* sayings. Many of them are simply endangered. Indeed, though I've heard many, there were few that I feel like I hear with any kind of regularity. My one complaint was that a few of the words don't have a proper definition given, or even a good example sentence. They do that thing where you basically use the word to define itself, assuming that the audience already understands the meaning of the word, I suppose. My favorite old word to bring back? "Masher," a man who thought himself irresistible to the female sex but whose advances were often unwelcome. Why is there no current word for this? Better bring it back!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Fun little book if you like to know word meanings. Although I knew many of the "lost" words, I learned some new ones. For instance, although I knew that "dough" was slang for money, I did not know that "sourdough" was slang for counterfeit money. The book explains words like dandiprat, jingle-brains, and scofflaw. Fun little book if you like to know word meanings. Although I knew many of the "lost" words, I learned some new ones. For instance, although I knew that "dough" was slang for money, I did not know that "sourdough" was slang for counterfeit money. The book explains words like dandiprat, jingle-brains, and scofflaw.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    This book was a quick fun read, I only gave it four stars because there were a couple of words that didn’t age well, and probably SHOULDN’T be brought back. I also wish that it had discussed the origins of more of the words. But it was really fun, and I’m only going to refer to my legs as ‘gams’ or ‘drumsticks’ from now on.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Getts

    I was surprised and annoyed that I knew most of the entries. An entertaining light read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Want to feel special without being special at all? Here is the book for you. From somebody who scavenged all over the blogs about exotic expressions. He would even speculate about the origin.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Didi Mack

    Frolicking in Phrases Great history in the etymology of old phrases and words. Very enlightening and fun. Really laughed at some of the phrases!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    A lot of words I already knew, and some fun new phrases! Might not improve your vocabulary, but you'll certainly have more to talk about. A lot of words I already knew, and some fun new phrases! Might not improve your vocabulary, but you'll certainly have more to talk about.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    When I saw this book in the giveaways I was very excited. The subject matter is right up my alley. I personally love having a vast and diverse vocabulary and am thrilled when I can use less common words and phrases in everyday conversations and communications. So when I won the First Reads giveaway, I was thrilled and ready to increase my vocabulary with all sorts have rare and spunky words. The book was a very quick read. It only took me a few hours to complete it. Overall I would say there are When I saw this book in the giveaways I was very excited. The subject matter is right up my alley. I personally love having a vast and diverse vocabulary and am thrilled when I can use less common words and phrases in everyday conversations and communications. So when I won the First Reads giveaway, I was thrilled and ready to increase my vocabulary with all sorts have rare and spunky words. The book was a very quick read. It only took me a few hours to complete it. Overall I would say there are approximately 1,050 words provided. Out of that number, I would say that I already use at least 63 of the words (6% of the words provided) in my daily conversations, and I plan on adding 113 words (10.76% of the words provided) to my repertoire. The other 874 words (83.24% of the words provided), in my opinion, can stay forgotten. I did not find the collection of words to be delightful at all and due to this I am extremely disappointed with the book. I really expected the collection of words to be more interesting and better sounding. At the end of the day though, I am happy that I rediscovered 113 words.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    I love words and phrases, the beauty of the English language, and the pleasure of having a large working vocabulary, hence my joy at finding this compendium of forgotten and obsolete words and phrases, linguistic expressions which, according to the compiler, were either phased out prematurely or should be brought back into uncommon usage because situations have arisen, mirroring the times in which they were current. I have to admit that a quarter of the entries, perhaps even a third, are already I love words and phrases, the beauty of the English language, and the pleasure of having a large working vocabulary, hence my joy at finding this compendium of forgotten and obsolete words and phrases, linguistic expressions which, according to the compiler, were either phased out prematurely or should be brought back into uncommon usage because situations have arisen, mirroring the times in which they were current. I have to admit that a quarter of the entries, perhaps even a third, are already in my working vocabulary, and probably more than half were familiar to me through my reading. That said, I encountered many wonderful and sometimes zany examples of past words and phrases unknown to me, but which I am considering incorporating into my vocabulary, if only to confuse and annoy acquaintances. Particularly appreciated by me was a list of insults courtesy of the Bard. I think if there is any one thing that surprised me in this book, it was the date of first usage of many of the words, far earlier than I expected, sometimes as far back as the low Middle Ages. If you enjoy language for language’s sake, as I do, I think you will enjoy this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rappy Winters

    Have you ever just had a strong urge to say "huzzah"? Did you know that an old term for butt was "double juggs"? Do you care? If you do, then this book is probably one you'll want to check out. As with many titles, however, there is a bit of a mixed bag syndrome with this title. While terms such as "scrape acquaintance" may be truly esoteric, others such as "getting down to brass tacks" and "zounds" still get enough use in either actual discussion or pop culture tomfoolery to break through into s Have you ever just had a strong urge to say "huzzah"? Did you know that an old term for butt was "double juggs"? Do you care? If you do, then this book is probably one you'll want to check out. As with many titles, however, there is a bit of a mixed bag syndrome with this title. While terms such as "scrape acquaintance" may be truly esoteric, others such as "getting down to brass tacks" and "zounds" still get enough use in either actual discussion or pop culture tomfoolery to break through into something less than obscure. The actual explanation of etymology on some of the words are absent in favor of other entries as well, which may annoy an confound some readers. Still, if you want a collection of weird words and phrases you can throw at your friends, this is one of the few titles I can earnestly recommend on the subject.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rowan MacBean

    This is a book I could have sat down and breezed through in an hour, but instead it took me nearly two weeks to read it. Why? Because I could only read a little bit before I got annoyed and had to put it down. I was looking for a book of "lost" and "forgotten" words, since that's what the cover advertises. And, yes, there were some terms that were new to me, but I've read or heard well over half of them (in things that were not specifically about language) and more than half of the ones I've hea This is a book I could have sat down and breezed through in an hour, but instead it took me nearly two weeks to read it. Why? Because I could only read a little bit before I got annoyed and had to put it down. I was looking for a book of "lost" and "forgotten" words, since that's what the cover advertises. And, yes, there were some terms that were new to me, but I've read or heard well over half of them (in things that were not specifically about language) and more than half of the ones I've heard are part of my (and my friends') active vocabularies. So instead of learning a lot, I felt like I was getting an implied lecture from the author on how people of my generation don't pay attention to or appreciate anything that's older than we are.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    The older you are, the more of these underused (but not altogether forgotten) terms you'll know, and perhaps employ. Some of my favorites are here, e.g. trollop and strumpet, dastardly, mollycoddle, and druthers (seriously - do other people not use these words??). Some good ones were missing from Blume's list, notably canoodle, pixilated, and codswallop, which I use at every opportunity. My favorite from among those with which I wasn't familiar? Taradiddle, which is a fib. A fun little book for The older you are, the more of these underused (but not altogether forgotten) terms you'll know, and perhaps employ. Some of my favorites are here, e.g. trollop and strumpet, dastardly, mollycoddle, and druthers (seriously - do other people not use these words??). Some good ones were missing from Blume's list, notably canoodle, pixilated, and codswallop, which I use at every opportunity. My favorite from among those with which I wasn't familiar? Taradiddle, which is a fib. A fun little book for word lovers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Beckie

    There are three books (so far), and I love them all. I actually do use a lot of the words and phrases, but maybe that is due to my age. These books are great as coffee table books, and for sure would make great gifts! And they are books you would read more than once, as they are chock-full of fun info.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Very intriguing read! I will no doubt incorporate many of these phrases into my vocabulary. I simply wish Blume had gone into a bit more detail about the historical origins of each word. I adored the minuscule and colorful illustrations as well!

  25. 5 out of 5

    JBP

    Fun and quick to read book about all the out of fashion words that have slipped from public popularity. Filled with definitions and examples in sentence form, this little book can have you referring to ninnyhammers or not to be tisty-tosty or how in life you just need to chance the ducks.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nelson Rosario

    Stop going through life as a loblolly and expand your vocabulary by reading this book. I love compendiums like this, and I love language so of course I love this book. I'm glad I read it before I join the majority. So stop lollygagging and read this book. Stop going through life as a loblolly and expand your vocabulary by reading this book. I love compendiums like this, and I love language so of course I love this book. I'm glad I read it before I join the majority. So stop lollygagging and read this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Rounds

    I would have finished this book sooner but I was working a lot this week. I love this book. I will be keeping this in my personal library. I absolutely love using these words on people, because they don't even know what I am saying. It is really fun. I would have finished this book sooner but I was working a lot this week. I love this book. I will be keeping this in my personal library. I absolutely love using these words on people, because they don't even know what I am saying. It is really fun.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I read through many wonderful words and phrases in this book, but would love to have my own copy to refer to in the future. The book is beautifully bound and would make a great addition to any word lover's library. I read through many wonderful words and phrases in this book, but would love to have my own copy to refer to in the future. The book is beautifully bound and would make a great addition to any word lover's library.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    A fun read! Apparently I speak a lost language, too, for many of the entries are part of my vernacular.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Macke

    Very enjoyable and a beautiful physically crafted book; a nice gift for me, a person who typically gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop

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