Word Ways


In the Kickshaws section of the May 1979 Word Ways, Will Shortz described a 1616 book of French wordplay by Etienne Tabourot, entitled Les Bigarrures et Touches du Seigneur des Accords (The Designs and Strokes of the Lord of Harmony), hereafter denoted by B-T. This book is believed to be the first one in the world entirely devoted to recreational linguistics. Of this work one nineteenth-century reviewer has written "This is a curious collection whose author has been pleased to temper his erudition with numerous pleasantries, sometimes good, sometimes bad and often smutty."