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Download ZOUNDS!: A Browser's Dictionary of Interjections epub

by Sergio Aragones,Mark Dunn

From Geronimo! to gesundheit to haminahamina to holy mackerel, and from abracadabra to zoinks, Mark Dunn and Sergio Aragonés show you interjections like you've never seen them before.

Often thought of as unnecessary verbal fringe or simply linguistic decoration, interjections (ahem, howdy, mamma mia, pshaw, tally-ho, whoop-de-do) may well be the most overlooked part of speech in the English language. ZOUNDS! A Browser's Dictionary of Interjections focuses the spotlight on this most deserving (and sometimes most demented) grammatical group. A light-hearted look at more than 500 interjections, ZOUNDS! explores the origins of these essential words and highlights the contributions of these previously unheralded parts of speech.

Perfect for both word lovers and the casual reader, ZOUNDS! brings together the linguistic talents of Mark Dunn, author of the award-winning novel Ella Minnow Pea, and the graphic hilarity of Sergio Aragonés, the legendary cartoonist and contributor to Mad Magazine, for a delightful romp through grammar, culture, and the English language.

Famous interjections include:


"Badabing-badaboom"-Tony Soprano

"Stuff and nonsense!"-Alice, Alice in Wonderland

"Bah! Humbug!"-Scrooge

"Fiddle-dee-dee !"-Scarlett O'Hara

"Leapin' lizards!"-Little Orphan Annie

"Nanoo, nanoo"-Mork, from "Mork & Mindy"

"Dyn-O-Mite!"-Jimmie Walker, "Good Times"

"Bully!"-President Theodore Roosevelt

Download ZOUNDS!: A Browser's Dictionary of Interjections epub
ISBN: 0312330804
ISBN13: 978-0312330804
Category: Reference
Subcategory: Words Language & Grammar
Author: Sergio Aragones,Mark Dunn
Language: English
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 1, 2005)
Pages: 240 pages
ePUB size: 1170 kb
FB2 size: 1397 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 698
Other Formats: lit azw doc lrf

This review is for St. Martin's Griffin first edition, March 2005

As a writer of fiction, I purchased ZOUNDS hoping for a comprehensive dictionary of interjections used in dialogue, and I was not disappointed.

In addition to the definition, many entries include anecdotal information, the origin of the interjection, and a comment on the timeframe of usage. For example, "as if" was first recorded in 1905, "score!" was popular among teenagers in the 1990's, and "hey, Abbott!" has not been used much since the 1950s. That information might save a writer of historical or near historical fiction from making an embarrassing blunder. Also quite valuable is the nine-page index at the end of the book, which provides a concise list of dialogue possibilities from aaayy to zzzzzp.

For general use, I agree with Dennis Laycock's review that this is a good book for the WC. For writers of dialogue, it's a handy reference tool.
This book was a bit disappointing to me. I was looking for something with British and American phrases, and this is pretty strongly focused on the American. And some of those are good and interesting stories, but not as consistently odd and amusing as Britishisms.
Others looking for just American phraseology will enjoy this, however.
I purchased this for a friend who is a bookworm, especially funny books. This was a perfect fit. She finds it very amusing. It explains the use and origin of unique words. Good for the nerdey reader in your family.
Pfft! Gut Shabbes! Fiddle-dee-dee! Bully! Toy toy! Ooh la la!

Let's face it, language would be a lot more boring without interjections, those odd little flourishes to emphasize whatever we're saying ("Drat! I dropped the cake!"). In "ZOUNDS!: A Browser's Dictionary of Interjections," Mark Dunn dissects the various interjections we say, and what they mean.

From "aayyy" to "zzzzp!", Dunn explores various interjections from the past and present, and they're a surprisingly colourful bunch -- there's the obvious little ones like "ah," "oh," "eh," and "aaaarrruuugah," which are mainly convenient noises.

But he also exxplores obscure little words ("beero!"), and ones that were used long ago or have fallen into disuse ("beauseant!"). Not to mention ones from other cultures ("Gut shabbes!"), or from movies ("Keeks!" "Nee!"). A disproportionate number seem to euphemisms for God ("Gosh all hemlock!"), or some rather impolite words ("Fudge!").

But he doesn't just tell us about these words, or what they mean. For example, it turns out that "ods bodkins" is actually a corruption of "God's bodkins" -- loosely translated, "God's little body," which was considered a very wicked phrase in Elizabethan times. Or that "slogan" is derived from an ancient Gaelic call to arms. Betcha didn't know any of that.

Moreover, Dunn explains them in an easy, chatty manner, as if he were a pal imparting various linguistic trivia. And he peppers the whole book with pop culture and literary references, as well as little "skits" to emphasize what they mean ("Dear girl, you have just destroyed all my cultures of the antibacterial Penicillium notatum!" "Oops!").

Even better, some of these interjections are so rare that they can serve two purposes: first, to serve as party trivia, such as "Did you know that the word 'begorra' may be connected to vivisection?". Second, some of them would make wonderful insults that no one can reply to.

"ZOUNDS!: A Browser's Dictionary of Interjections" is not only vastly entertaining, but tells us a lot about a part of language that nobody really thinks about. Imbars bidbib!
Mark Dunn compiles a great deal of interesting tidbits, trivia, and some clever stories on his work ZOUNDS! A BROWSER'S DICTIONARY OF INTERJECTIONS. It gives the historical background to such expression as "horse feathers" "hot diggety dog" and one of my grandmother's favorite "ye gods and little fishes" just to name a sampling Overall the book contains historical tales about older interjections but also includes modern expressions such as Fred Flintstone's "Yabba Dabba Doo" and Seinfeld's "yadda-yadda-yadda."

My assumption is that this book will appeal to two groups of people: trivia buffs and writers. My guess is that by reading this book, which can be enjoyable and addictive, the trivia buff reader will be able to impress a rival or two at Trivial Pursuit. The second group of people that may purchase this book would be writers hoping to find a clever phrase or expression for a character. This may not be the best idea. Anyone who has ever participated in a writing workshop knows that someone comes up with a catch phrase for a character and the others in the group cannot wait to pounce on it, but it may not be the worst tool for writers. Since Dunn gives a history of the interjections in the book, it may help a writer avoid copyrighted material. Teachers may also find the book helpful. It could be read in an English class from time to time as a way of showing how language evolves.

Regardless of whether it sits on a reference shelf or if it's purchased for pleasure, the book is interesting and amusing and without a doubt it will teach the reader something new.
Sitting down to read this book for an extended period of time is probably not a good idea; it's a bit dry for that. However, it's great for reading in five- or 10-minute spurts, thus - it's perfect for the bathroom.

Not to insult the author, who does a fine job of documenting the birth of hundreds of interjections. The story about Kipling and Twain competing to write the most ribald story is one I'll not forget. And I picked up a few obscure interjections that I plan to use and freak people out once in a while.
Lost Python
This book was not funny at all. The definitions were filed with pop culture babble. Seemed like a nice idea, but, not funny.