* A wonderfully informative and entertaining guide to our national language
A JOLLY DECENT CUPPA ... is a wonderfully entertaining compendium of the hundred words and phrases that have over the last century become the cornerstones of modern spoken English, and have been used - sometimes deliberately, but often inadvertently - to stake out the common identity that unites the English, to define what makes us who we are, and thus different from those beastly foreigners who lurk just off our shores.
Despite attempts by politicians and writers, despite lessons in citizenship enshrined in the national curriculum, we have famously never been able to define for posterity precisely what Englishness is. A JOLLY DECENT CUPPA ... takes certain well-loved and crucial expressions such as sorry, nice, fair play, shag, common, posh, cuppa, chippy or the full monty, explores their strange and wonderful origins, and demonstrates with wit and charm how they are emblems of an era or an attitude, of a heritage and of the traits and quirks essential to all our notions of Englishness.
** 'There is much that is admirable and entertaining here . . . I learnt a lot about slang - Lynne Truss, SUNDAY TIMES