My Word!

Norwich author Peter Sargent’s new book, My Word! celebrates the fascinating stories behind our favourite words

Former EDP journalist, Peter Sargent, has just had his fourth book, My Word!, published by Paul Dickson Books. My Word! celebrates the fascinating stories behind our favourite words.

In My Word!, Peter looks at nearly 100 common words that we bandy about with abandon, rarely thinking about where they came from, and how their use has changed and is continuing to change.

When was it a good thing to be a bully? Who was the clown who almost wrecked Cleopatra’s suicide scene in William Shakespeare’s play? What have singing goats got to do with tragedy? And what connects goats, hedgehogs and supermodels with the word capricious? Were Cossack cavalrymen the first to eat in a bistro, and were twittering birds the first to use jargon. Above all, what on earth can King Henry VIII and Paddington Bear have in common?

“The answers to these questions can all be found in My Word!,” explained Peter. “My interest in the world of words was sparked when I studied History and English Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, during the 1980s. I have always been intrigued and frequently bamboozled by the language we use in everyday speech and finally decided to research what evolved into My Word!. I hope readers will be entertained and informed by this safari through the jungle of our evolving language.”

My Word!

My Word! was published on 1 October by Paul Dickson Books,
price £10, ISBN: 978-1-9160550-6-3,
[email protected],

My Word! is on sale at Jarrold Norwich, Jarrold Cromer, Amazon and

Peter Sargent ‘s other books, which all look at the rich and diverse history of East Anglia, are A Moment in Time (2017), A Place in History (2018) and Anglian Annals (2019). Find out more about Peter’s work at .