Friday, December 16, 2005

There are plenty of wacky novelty books on the shelves in time for Christmas, but Adam Jacot de Boinod's The Meaning of Tingo looks like one of the few that might retain interest for longer than it takes to say "Oh, you shouldn't have!"
It's brilliant in its simplicity, being nothing more than a collection of odd and interesting words from around the world, such as gorrero (Spanish, Central America) meaning a person who always allows others to pay, or pu'ukaula (Hawaiian) meaning to set up one's wife as a stake in gambling, or koro (Japanese) the hysterical belief that one's penis is shrinking into one's body.


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