Bill Casselman

www.billcasselman.com

Bill Casselman is a leading etymologist who has published ten books on the origins of words and sayings, three of them bestsellers. He is also the author of a medical dictionary and numerous magazine and newspaper columns and articles. He is a columnist at Vocabula, the leading American online word magazine.

Where A Dobdob Meets A Dikdik
x Where A Dobdob Meets A Dikdik

Where A Dobdob Meets A Dikdik, A Word Lover’s Guide To The Weirdest, Wackiest, and Wonkiest Lexical Gems

How many people know how to pronounce humhumunukunukuapuaa*? How many even know what it is? Bill Casselman does. Dictionary in hand, he’ll lead you along the highways and byways of English–the world’s wackiest, most widespread language. And those who follow will find their vocabularies replete with sesquipedalian vocables and chock-a-block with euphuistic lexemes of logorrheic.

From dobdob to dikdik to the outer reaches of ning-nong and prick-me-dainty, in wide-ranging essays explaining hundreds of words and expressions, both common and obscure, Casselman revels in the strange, the surreal, and the mind-bogglingly weird.

Rights sold:
Adams Media

Canadian Words & Sayings
x Canadian Words & Sayings

Canadian Words & Sayings

In this new anthology, Bill Casselman delights and startles with word stories from every province and territory of Canada. Did you know that to deke out is a Canadian verb that began as hockey slang, short for ‘to decoy an opponent.’ That Canada has a fish that ignites? On our Pacific coast, the oolichan or candlefish is so full of oil it can be lit at one end and used as a candle. Did you know that the very first Skid Row or Skid Road in Canada was in Vancouver at the end of the 19th century? The term originated because out-of-work loggers drank in cheap saloons at the end of a road used to skid logs. Skids were greased logs used to slide rough timber to a waterway or railhead. This is the book on Canada’s words and sayings that should be in every house in the country where people are proud to say: “That’s Canadian, eh.”

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Canadian Sayings
x Canadian Sayings

Canadian Sayings

Folk sayings are passed by word of mouth in small communities where life and work are shared. These 1,200 delightful and sometimes pungent sayings are annotated and arranged in over 130 categories, ranging from All is Well and All is Not Well through Anger, Appearance, Bad Luck, Canadiana, Clumsiness, Excuses, Fatness, Liars, Machismo, Shyness, Ugliness, and Thinking, to Water, Weakness, Wealth, and Work. This latest Casselman collection will give you “a grin as wide as the St. Lawrence.”

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Canadian Sayings 2
x Canadian Sayings 2

Canadian Sayings 2

Casselman has collected 1,000 absolute beauties in this all new, all Canadian collection. As with the first volume, which was a number one bestseller and stayed on the National Post bestseller list for a total of 61 weeks, these delightful and sometimes pungent sayings are annotated and arranged in over 130 categories, ranging from All is Well and All is Not Well through Anger, Appearance, Bad Luck, Canadiana, Clumsiness, Excuses, Fatness, Liars, Machismo, Shyness, Ugliness, and Thinking, to Water, Weakness, Wealth, and Work. No one else writes about our words like Bill Casselman does—he’s been called “A Bluenose among schooners on the sea of popular etymology.”

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Canadian Sayings 3
x Canadian Sayings 3

Canadian Sayings 3

Bill Casselman, Canada’s master-gatherer of funny folk sayings, returns with fresh bounty–hundreds and hundreds of new folk sayings not included in his previous two volumes of knee-slappers and girdle-splitters. Here are Canadian maxims galore, snappy saws and breezy national adages–enough to fill the barn of delight many times over. As always, Bill has divided these hilarious one-liners into dozens of categories redolent of human nature, categories like Stupidity, Sex Canadiana, Weather and Work. And Bill adds his own witty footnotes and explanations to those sayings whose meanings may be lost in time. How about his apt squelch for a deeply annoying store clerk? “Miss, by standing behind the counter, you are depriving a village of their idiot.”

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

As The Canoe Tips
x As The Canoe Tips

As The Canoe Tips

Bill Casselman, Canada’s best and funniest word man, returns. Here’s Bill with standup that’s sit-down, because he sat down to type these zany titles for his silly tales: “Flying to the Smeeb Harvest: A Travel Piece,” “The Pedantry Shelf or Who Let the Lesser Omentum Out of Its Cage?” We know that blurbs galore adorn the back covers of books. The ones that Bill Casselman likes best speak from the heart. Artist Elizabeth Creith of Thessalon, Ontario, writes, “Bill, I found myself standing in a bookstore aisle with tears of laughter running down my face.” TV hostess with the mostest Vicki Gabereau contributed the shortest blurb ever, “Casselman, are you funny!” Ever left out the p in ptarmigan? You were right! Among his own original discoveries and derivations in a lively section called “Words in My Life,” Bill ferrets out an early mistake that plopped a spurious p on the front of our Canadian bird name. Here too Bill buckles your ribs with “The Canadian Word I Most Hate” balanced by a hilarious report on the biggest, best laugh of my life.”

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

What’s In A Canadian Name?
x What’s In A Canadian Name?

What’s In A Canadian Name?

Someone said recently that the only true Canadian last names are those of our aboriginal peoples. Certainly Inuit, Cree and Ojibwa names were the first heard across the land that would become Canada. (Consider pop singer Shania Twain, whose aboriginal name is Ojibwa for “on my way”). But surnames from all over the earth are Canadian too, brought here by immigrants speaking French, English, German, Italian, Gaelic, Ukrainian, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and so on. In What’s In A Canadian Name? you’ll learn the startling stories behind famous (and not so famous) Canadian names. Perhaps more importantly, Bill Casselman here gives you a bright and amusing introduction to how last names operate in many languages all over the world.

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Canadian Food Words
x Canadian Food Words

Canadian Food Words

Canada’s bestselling word wizard is back, with a gustatory gallivant across Canada. Learn about and enjoy some of the food words Canadians use and have used – many of these words as tangy and succulent as the foods they name. Casselman sets the gastric juices flowing and helps us savour the etymological flavour of our hearty Canadian fare as well. The gastromonic grand tour begins in Newfoundland after a Jigg’s dinner with scrunchins, washed down with a stain o’ rum, and then we light out for the West Coast to lap up a foaming bowl of soapahollie ice cream. Along the way there are stops and mug-ups for Maritime fungy and bangbelly, bakeapple jam and blueberry grunt, fricko on PEI, rappie pie in New Brunswick, drepsley soup in Southern Ontario, bannock in Manitoba, Saskatoonberry turnovers along the Qu-Appelle River, backed wind pills in Alberta, and moose-muffle soup in Tuktoyaktuk.

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Canadian Garden Words
x Canadian Garden Words

Canadian Garden Words

The origin of flower, tree, and plant names, both wild and domestic, entertainingly derived from their sources in the ancient tongues together with fancy botanical names and why you shall never again be afraid to use them!

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Casselmania
x Casselmania

Casselmania

In this number one bestseller, Bill Casselman delights and startles with word stories from every province and territory of Canada. Did you know that Scarborough means “Harelip’s Fort” or that the names of Lake Huron and Huronia stem from a vicious, racist insult? Huron in Old French meant ‘long-haired clod.’ French soldiers gave the Wendat people this nasty moniker in the 1600s. “Mush! Mush! On, you huskies!” cried Sargeant Preston of the Yukon to 1940s radio listeners, thus introducing a whole generation of Canucks to the word once widely used in the Arctic to spur on sled dogs. Although it might sound like a word from Inukitut, early French trappers used it first, borrowing the term from the French language command to a horse to go: Marche! Marche! Yes, it’s Quebecois for giddyap! All these and more fascinating terms for Canadian place, name, politics, sports, plants and animals, clothing.

Rights sold:
McArthur & Company

Back to Clients