Endangered Words

Endangered Words: Simon Hertnon’s guided tour of one hundred exceptional rare words

by Simon Hertnon

A personally guided tour through a gallery of fine words.

Endangered Words (Kindle edition) book coverKindle edition ISBN 978-0958235501 (ASIN B019HJ3EPM)
(Marsilio Press, 2015*)
$3.99 from Amazon US and CA
£2.99 from Amazon UK, IN and AU

Print editions | Further reading | Publishing information

“Hertnon provides a treasure trove of rich and
rare words to delight, tantalise and obsess the most
compulsive of language obsessives. Lovely stuff.”

Weekend Press (Christchurch)

“crisply presented”
Sunday Star Times

“This book is a gem.”
Northern Advocate (Whangarei)

“an excellent guide to that obscure word”
Investigate Magazine

Kudos from first edition reviews.

Previously published as both Endangered Words (US paperbacks) and From Afterwit to Zemblanity (UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa hardback), Simon Hertnon’s highly-rated* ‘treasure trove of rich and rare words’ can now be enjoyed on your Kindle reader.

Hertnon describes his book as a gallery of fine words, and a stroll through it will introduce you to words that give you reason to pause and consider. Some words hit you between the eyeballs, others make you laugh or nod your head in wistful recognition. But every word reminds you of the value tied up in our language, if only we take the time to explore, discern, and share.

In keeping with Simon’s less-is-more philosophy, the book features just 100 remarkable words so that you can get to know each word properly before moving on to the next.

Here are three to whet your appetite.

  • elozable adj. ‘amenable to flattery’ (OED)
  • sprezzatura n. ‘studied non-chalance: perfect conduct or performance without apparent effort’ (Merriam-Webster)
  • velliety adj. ‘A mere wish, desire, or inclination without accompanying action or effort.’ (OED)

Read an excerpt: Velleity
Explore: Further reading

The ideal gift for the hard-to-buy-for word lover in your family, Endangered Words features 100 hand-picked rarities. For each word, Hertnon explains meaning, derivation, rarity, usage, and why he chose the word for his ‘exhibition’. Related words, keen wit, crisp quotations, and an eclectic short story are all to be found on Simon Hertnon’s guided tour.

* Rated 4+ stars in Amazon and Goodreads (December 2015).

Print editions

From Afterwit to Zemblanity: 100 endangered words brought to life
by Simon Hertnon

First edition hardback ISBN 978-1869661939
(New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd, 2008)
$29.99 from Nakedize Book Shop

From Afterwit to Zemblanity cover

More about the first edition…
More Endangered Words print editions…

Further reading — web sites

A Word A Day (by Anu Garg)


Merriam-Webster Online

The Oxford English Dictionary

Verbatim (quarterly language magazine)

Word Information (etymology)


World Wide Words (by Michael Quinion)

Publishing information

Publisher: Marsilio Press (an imprint of Nakedize Limited)
ISBN: 978-0958235501
Subjects: Vocabulary / English language
Enquiries: info[at]nakedize.com