What do you call the part of a dog's back it can't scratch? Can you drink a glass of balderdash? And if, serendipitously, you find yourself in Serendip, then where exactly are you? The answers to all of these questions can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive record of the English language. And there is no better guide to the dictionary's many wonderments, its quirks, and its quiddities than the former chief editor of the OED, John Simpson. Throughout the book, he enlivens his narrative with lively excavations and investigations of individual words, all the while reminding us that the seemingly mundane words (can you name the four different meanings of ma?) are often the most interesting ones. A brilliant expedition through the world of words.