A Turn-up for the Books

While i was writing the bit about flukes in Chapter 2 of Turning Signs, i was thinking it would be fun to write a whole book about these wonderful flukes of etymological fun. I recently discovered that this has in fact been done, by a chap named Mark Forsyth, who called it The Etymologicon. He also has a blog called The Inky Fool, which i highly recommend to those who love laughing at the quirks and “hidden connections” of words.

The Etymologicon also turned out to have a hidden, fluky connection with my book. The title of its first chapter is the title i’ve given to this blog post, and it turns out (or up?) that a “turn-up” means (or used to mean) something very like a “fluke”: “an unexpected slice of luck” (Forsyth, Mark. The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (p. 2). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.). It has absolutely no connection with turnips.

And not only that, but the Etymologicon, like Turning Signs, has a circular structure. All purely coincidental, of course (except for the title of this blog post).

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