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The Meaning of Liff is a humorous dictionary of toponymy and etymology, written by Douglas The book is a "dictionary of things that there aren't any words for yet". at the same time, after Douglas Adams called Terry Jones to ask if it would be OK. The meanings are translated from the original but are matched to place .
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I enjoyed reading it. Jul 23, Toby rated it really liked it Shelves: funny. There's not much room for books of "humour" in my life, why waste time reading delightfully inventive meanings for those place names that you just cannot believe are real when you could be reading a deep and heartfelt narrative of loss and despair?

But Douglas Adams co-created this collection and that's reason enough for anything. We've all seen and heard of them, place names that cause you to wonder what drugs the founders were taking when they decided Berry Pomeroy n. The shape of a gourme There's not much room for books of "humour" in my life, why waste time reading delightfully inventive meanings for those place names that you just cannot believe are real when you could be reading a deep and heartfelt narrative of loss and despair?

The shape of a gourmet's lips. The droplet of saliva which hangs from them. A car behind which one draws up at the traffic lights and hoots at when the lights go green before realising that the car is parked and there is no one inside. Any seventeen year old who doesn't know about anything at all in the world other than bicycle gears. Perception is an interesting thing. Anyway, the town I currently live in doesn't require an inventive description from a genius of comic writing, it comes with its own ready made definition.

Hi guys, welcome to the City of Cockburn. Mar 11, Colin rated it really liked it. Everything Douglas Adams did was brilliant. Oct 12, it'chy rated it really liked it Shelves: soft. Apr 28, Maria rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction.

If you like "tasting" words you will enjoy this book. Dec 01, Marilyn B rated it really liked it Shelves: funny. Would have been more enjoyable to read slowly bit by bit over time instead of trying to plow right through my library copy.


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Some of this was really funny and spot on and some was less so. Still, Douglas Adams was such an amazing observer of life and some definitions were so hilarious that I give this a 4stars. View 2 comments. Aug 25, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction-non , humor. If I encounter someone using these words in everyday conversation, I think we will become fast friends.

Oct 05, Linds rated it really liked it. Douglas Adams is amazing as expected. It can get a little tiresome to read this book straight through, but I think it's fantastic for random flipping. Feb 26, Dirk rated it it was amazing Shelves: not-longer-owned. Just read it. He fell of dead from his own hometrainer. Like his death, such are his books. Shelves: humour. One who asks you a question with the apparent motive of wanting to hear your answer, but who cuts short your opening sentence by leaning forward and saying 'and I'll tell you why I ask BANFF Pertaining to, or descriptive of, that kind of facial expression which is impossible to achieve except when having a passport photograph taken.

BELPER A knob of someone else's chewing gum which you unexpectedly find your hand resting on under a deck's top, under the passenger seat of your car or on somebody's thigh under their skirt. Politely rude.

The Meaning Of Liff

Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative. The moment at which two people approaching from opposite ends of a long passageway, recognise each other and immediately pretend they haven't. This is to avoid the ghastly embarrassment of having to continue recognising each other the whole length of the corridor. A mood of irrational irritation with everyone and everything.

The Meaning of Liff: The Original Dictionary Of Things There Should Be Words For

The process of trying to work out who did it when reading a whodunnit, and trying to keep your options open so that when you find out you can allow yourself to think that you knew perfectly well who it was all along. To try to remove a sticky something from one hand with the other, thus causing it to get stuck to the other hand and eventually to anything else you try to remove it with.

A street dance. The two partners approach from opposite directions and try politely to get out of each other's way. They step to the left, step to the right, apologise, step to the left again, apologise again, bump into each other and repeat as often as unnecessary. Sudden realisation, as you lie in bed waiting for the alarm to go off, that it should have gone off an hour ago. ELY n. The first, tiniest inkling you get that something, somewhere, has gone terribly wrong.

Someone you don't want to invite to a party but whom you know you have to as a matter of duty. He even has a word for someone who washes all the dishes and stuff but refuses to clean the cooking pans. Well, since I am one of those I have desisted from including that. Thought-provoking, deep, amazing! Makes you look at life differently, giving a new kind of appreciation for details in life you probably never think about, bringing a feeling of universal connection between all things, living or not. A dictionary that reaches beyond the boundaries that separate us all and bring us together; a life-changing read, one that will bring an idea of what the meaning of life could possibly be as seen through the lens of ordinary yet extraordinary life.


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This dictionary s Thought-provoking, deep, amazing! This dictionary shows us how extraordinary life can be found in ordinary, everyday life. I will remember this read forever. Marvelous, silly, ridiculous fun with the English language, as only can be had with the English language. Jul 05, Catherine rated it really liked it. Totally silly, useless and pythonesque dictionary. Also hilarious. Goodreaders will appreciate the words Ahenny and Ballycumber.

Aug 22, Jennifer Evans rated it it was amazing. A giggly tiny coffee table book of definitions.

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Always good for a laugh! Reading this book while working at Neu-Art Signs in Toronto.

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Brian McCall was reading over my shoulder and we were both laughing so hard, tears running out, gasping for air Jan 19, Rudy Gate rated it it was ok. I didn't really like it, but I think it was because of the Czech translation Oct 06, Versuvio rated it it was amazing.

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Great book if you enjoy practicing your pronunciation. It's fun trying to guess how to pronounce words like "Bindle" - because of the similarity in meaning, I decided to let it rhyme with swindle - "Brecon", "Hobarris", and "Warleggan". If you do not seek to hone your creative pattern recognition skills, this still is worth a read in case you - enjoy reading dictionaries in general - share Douglas Adams' humor - need a book to read on the train - play a game of "look at this smart word I know" with y Great book if you enjoy practicing your pronunciation.

If you do not seek to hone your creative pattern recognition skills, this still is worth a read in case you - enjoy reading dictionaries in general - share Douglas Adams' humor - need a book to read on the train - play a game of "look at this smart word I know" with your acquaintances - are searching for the meaning of Liff - have too much time on your hands and like writing reviews about books Jun 18, Natalie rated it really liked it.

I love the creativity of Douglas Adams, how he can be so random and whimsical and funny at the same time. My only suggestion with this book is that it not be read all at once. It's really best read it small pieces at a time, or used as a reference book.

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Because every definition is utterly made up, all the randomness can lose its novelty fairly quickly. I didn't really find it that funny and lots of the situations I didn't recognise. A few a did, but it was more like "oh yes that thing..