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Susie Dent: The Secret Life Of Words


Take a journey into the curious, unexpected and downright surreal origins of the words we use every day. Susie will retell the adventures that lie hidden within such words as ‘lasagne’ (involving a chamber pot) and ‘bugbear‘ (a terrorising monster), and explain such oddities as the silent h in ‘ghost’ and the mysterious disappearance of ‘kempt’, ‘gormful’ and ‘ruly’ (and yes, you really can be ‘gruntled’). She will look to the lexicon of the past to fill some of today’s linguistic gaps – such as the frenzied fit of tidying we all do just as guests are about to descend (that’s a ‘scurryfunge’).

Alongside such forgotten stories you will hear Susie’s selection of the funniest moments from her 25 years on Countdown and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as some startling results from eavesdropping on a group of waiters.

Each evening will include some of Susie’s favourite words from the towns and regions she visits, and she’ll be asking the audience for theirs. In fact, she’ll be welcoming any questions about word origins, usage irritations, the dreaded impact of Americanization, and the very future of our language in her very own ‘word surgery’.

Fri
03
Jan 20
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Royal