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“Words The Sea Gave Us” (2020) is a light-hearted look at the words the English dictionary borrowed from the sea. From baggywinkle and gollywobbler to tempest and flotsam, the sea in all her moods has given a boatload of words to the English language throughout history. This book explores their origins along with a cargo of old sailor’s yarns. Cast your line for the salty history of skyscraper, mollgogger, strike, cyber, and phrases like getting hitched, red herring, hot pursuit, and taking them down a peg.
More than 370 words and phrases are featured from above board to yardarm – drawn from parts of a ship, sail names, crew titles, surfer slang, marine monsters, nautical navigation, flying the flag, and of course, how to talk like a scurvy pirate. Throw in some sea fables, fashions, and weather and you’re ready to set sail.
Previous nautical experience not required.
Ideal for word geeks, sailors, and beachcombers.
Available now in paperback
- Amazon.com $15.99
- Amazon.co.uk £9.99
- Book Depository, Bookshop.org
- Signed copies available direct from me
- Request it from your Irish independent bookshop (great list here)
- Request it from your Irish & UK indie bookshop (search here).
Available now in ebook format (all around $2.99)
Add it to your “Want to Read” list on Goodreads. From September 2020 this will also available from your local library – just request the paperback from your librarian. You can also read the digital edition using the overdrive and libby library apps.
“How to Get Your Name in the Dictionary” (2018) is a light-hearted look at the lives of the soldiers, inventors, style icons, and villains who gave their names to the English language as eponyms. From atlas to zeppelin English is full of words named for Greek gods, explorers, serious scientists, and crafty chefs. These heroes and heroines, scattered through world history, all did something extraordinary to squeeze their name into the dictionary, and this book celebrates their biographies.
More than 260 eponyms are featured across subjects as diverse as food, Irish history, calendars, hats, inventions, words named after places, Greek gods, military history, politics, astronomy, fashion, popular phrases, villains, science, and a selection of eponyms which simply defy categorisation.
Ideal for word geeks, history lovers, and biography buffs.
Available in paperback from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Wordery.com, request it from your Irish independent bookshop (great list here), request it from your Irish & UK indie bookshop (search here), or buy at Book Depository.
- Signed copies available direct from me
Available in your local library – just request the paperback from your librarian. You can also read the digital edition using the overdrive/libby library apps.
“Hamster Stew & Other Stories” is a diary-style comedy serial about the adventures of an Irish mom, Trish McTaggart, struggling with her teenage son, a scary ten year old daughter, and an out of control life which lurches from disaster to chaos. All she wants is a part-time job, more passion with her Scottish husband, and hands-off mother-in-law but life, and her daughter, are conspiring against her dreams. Perhaps the lessons her friend is giving her in “how to say no” will help?
“Nit Roast & Other Stories” is a first person, diary-style comedy serial about the adventures of an Irish mom.
Trish McTaggart’s family life is a mess. Her diary holds her worries – an animal-obsessed daughter, a teen son drinking, an absent-minded husband, and a local parent who’s out to get her. Building her new sewing business will be the easy part this year. This is a sequel to “Hamster Stew & Other Stories”.
Nina is the new librarian on the block. She’s learning the shelves with her buzzword-spouting boss and the senior librarian who hates reading and can’t wait to retire. She records the crazy reader requests and the knitting group in-fighting in her secret diary while trying to get the printer to work, flirting with the inter-library-loan guy, and struggling to discover why their romance books are acquiring red pen marks on page five.
The Happy Hangover Company, run by best friends Kay and Anna, will cure your hangover, serve you breakfast, and care for your children, but can it survive twin toddlers, mother-in-laws from hell, a commitment-phobic new man, and a golf-club vendetta?
More Books Coming Soon
“Words The Vikings Gave Us”, my third word history book.
Release due 2021.
“Red Sails”, my middle grade adventure book set on the west coast of Ireland, is currently on submission.