Paul goes the whole 9 yards

Paul goes the whole 9 yards

Haggard Hawks

Paul Anthony Jones, author from South Shields and regular Handbook contributor today went on Radio 4 to talk all things language.

Why do we ‘let the cat out of the bag’ or ‘go the whole nine yards’? What is a hackle and why might it be raised? What does it mean to ‘fribble’? Or to have a ‘schnapsidee’? And what are ‘cupid’s kettle drums’?

Paul Anthony Jones is an author and writer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has written six non-fiction books—The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer (2012); word origins guide Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons (2013) and its sequel Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire (2014); language fact book Word Drops (2015; 2016 USA); The Accidental Dictionary (2016; 2017 USA); and linguistic yearbook The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities (2017)—and has contributed articles to numerous publications, including The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, BuzzFeed, and Mental Floss, writing primarily about the history of the English language and the origins of words. He also runs the popular language-based Twitter account @HaggardHawks, which now boasts over 41,000 followers.

Paul was born in South Shields in 1983. He studied English language at the University of Newcastle from 2002–5, before going on to complete an MLitt postgraduate research degree in language and linguistics—specializing in onomastics, historical linguistics, and psycholinguistics—in 2009. His university research into the origins of local place names, both as an undergraduate and postgraduate, inspired his first book The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer (2012), which brought together the histories and claims to fame of more than 1,000 different towns and cities across Britain and Ireland.

You can listen to the radio broadcast online by clicking here.