The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris #FridayReads

The Lost Words

I bought this large sumptuous book at Christmas as a present for my husband but really it was for me.  Written as a response to the removal of words such as acorn and willow from a children’s dictionary, it laments the loss of these words to our children’s vocabulary and is a book of spells to help the words return accompanied by gorgeous pictures in medieval gold.  The spells are acrostics, filled with kennings like, “colour-giver,” and “ripple-calmer,” to describe the kingfisher and delightful alliteration.  You can guess the next spell poem by seeking out the name from the golden letters or gaze in awe at the wonderful pictures.

Can you guess what is being described in these words?

This shape-shifter’s a sheer breath-taker, a sure heart-stopper but you’ll only ever spot a shadow-flutter, bubble skein.

This swift-swimmer’s a silver-miner. With trout its ore it bores each black pool deep.

If you can find space for this impressive book, search in the children’s section and take it home to share and treasure.

The Lost Words on Amazon UK




Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

9 thoughts on “The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris #FridayReads

  1. Tall oaks from little wifis grow. Doesn’t quite sound right. I’ve been sitting here thinking about how much will be lost – not only the words themselves but all the associations. Aren’t children taught about the King hiding in an oak tree, or that squirrels eat acorns. What about learning about willow trees and cricket bats and all sorts of thing?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The English primary school syllabus doesn’t contain Nature study or even much about Biology (unless it’s sex education) these days. Perhaps it’s better in Scotland. The future King Charles II hiding in the oak tree might feature in the secondary school syllabus but they are more likely to be told about it by someone while drinking in the Royal Oak!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. All this bad business about lost words….so sad, and hard to imagine. Ah! Perhaps that is the key; the moderns have lost their imaginations? Perhaps due to too much wifi, too many screens and not enough Nature or good books!! Bring back those lost words, which are hopefully not lost at all, just temporarily misplaced! We NEED Nature, and her words, more than ever. How can a person care about something they know nothing about nor have words to describe? Lovely blogs, one and all, and it does look like a sumptuous book. But I am afraid I cannot guess the answers to the riddles? Foggy headed as I am. Thank you all.

    Liked by 1 person

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