Compiled by I. M. Rawes. B-format paperback (129mm x 198mm), 176 pages, illustrated throughout. ISBN 978-1-5272-0160-6.
Honk, Conk and Squacket is available from Amazon but you can also buy straight from me and save a little money, especially when ordering two or more books at a time. After all, if you lend the book to a friend you probably won't get it back, so why not buy them their own copy as a present?
Direct purchases from me are processed via the British-based Nochex payment service. You have the option of specifying a delivery address different to that of your billing address.
Are you the audile sort who can tell the difference between a bottle-bump and a gabbleratchet? Does your dog ouff, baff, channer, snook or whink ? Have you been kept awake by a box of toys from a randivoose, schlemozzle, callithump, or even a bobbery-pack? Or has a dose of the old gin-and-fog made you all reasty-cropped and gurragh like a hinchinarfer?
The answers are in the pages of Honk, Conk and Squacket, a unique collection of over 1,500 forgotten and obscure sound-words found in Victorian county dialect surveys and a host of other old sources from across the English-speaking world. There are strange and noisy apparitions from folklore, sonorous rural names for animals and their calls, bizarre instruments and inventions, and the slangs of thieves and the music hall. Taken together, they make the case that people in the past paid more attention to the sounds around them than we do today.
Honk, Conk and Squacket also has a gazetteer, showing which words came from which places, and an extensive bibliography. It's a surprising and absorbing read, and makes an ideal gift for word-collectors, local historians, anyone who works with sound, and all those who simply love to listen.
As well as months of research at the British Library, I've also spent a lot of time trying to make the book an appealing object. Years ago I worked as a book typesetter and with Honk, Conk and Squacket I've tried to recreate the look of an old illustrated dictionary.
The latest batch from the presses of Imprint Academic in Exeter is printed on Bookwove Cream and has attractive marbled end-papers.
You can hear me hold forth excitedly about the book to John Humphreys on Radio 4's Today program from the 4th of November 2016 via the BBC's website.
I went back to Broadcasting House on the evening of Wednesday the 9th of November to appear on the Mark Forest Show, which goes out to a lot of local BBC radio stations. You can listen to the broadcast here.
On the 8th of December I travelled to the studios in Salford to appear on Radio 3's The Verb, hosted by poet and presenter Ian McMillan.
I check a random sample of books when they arrive from the printers to make sure they're up to scratch. So far so good, but if there's something wrong with your copy or you're less than delighted with it, then you can return it to me within 14 days of purchase and I'll either send you a replacement copy or offer a refund, depending on what you want.
If you do return a book to me, please ensure that you haven't cracked the spine, dog-eared any of the pages, or otherwise left your mark on it in an obvious way.
The books are dispatched from my home address, which you'll see on the automated purchase confirmation email sent to you by Nochex, along with my contact phone number. If you have any queries prior to buying a copy, please contact me:
Your email address and other information will be treated by me as confidential and won't be passed to anyone else. Nor will I spam you to let you know about mundane additions to the London Sound Survey website. If or when I write another book I will email you once, and once only, to inform you of the good news – but that's it.