Mental Floss: The Curious Compendium of Wonderful Words

A Miscellany of Obscure Terms, Bizarre Phrases & Surprising Etymologies

Written By: Erin McCarthy & the Team at Mental Floss
From Mental Floss, the premier destination for curious minds comes a deep dive into the the world of words! You’ll discover the surprising (and sometimes very dark) origins of common terms, a guide to quirky old-timey words, a timeline of popular slang , tips & tricks to win at every word game, from Scrabble to Wordle, a collection of the best literary insults, and much more!

Ever wonder if there is a synonym for the word synonym? Or why people really hate the word “moist?” Maybe you want to know why we tell a person to take something “with a grain of salt,” or why McDonalds went to war with a dictionary. The answers to all of these questions and more can be found within the pages of The Curious Compendium of Wonderful Words. From obscure words to the best literary insults ever written, this linguistic miscellany is sure to spice up your vocabulary, make you a whizz at word games, and prepare you for plenty of wordy repartee for your next soiree, with some of the most bizarre terms you never knew you needed.
Format: PLC
Publication Date: 6/6/2023
ISBN: 9798886740196
Pages: 192
Trim Size: 6 x 9

  • About the Author 
  • Press
Erin McCarthy & the Team at Mental Floss, Author: Erin McCarthy is the Editor-in-Chief of, host of The List Show and Throwback on YouTube, editor of Mental Floss's book The Curious Reader, and producer of the History Vs. podcast. Her work has appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Town and Country, Parents, and Esquire. When she's not writing or editing, Erin is probably reading or hanging out with her cats, Oliver and Pearl.