Countdown’s Queen of Dictionary Corner, Coming to the Corn Exchange

Countdown’s Susie Dent is on her very first UK theatre tour and will be at the Corn Exchange Newbury on Thursday 20 September to offer her insights into the origins of the words we use and love.

A lexicographer and bestselling author, Susie will retell the adventures that lie hidden within such words as lasagne (involving a chamber pot) and bugbear (a terrorising monster), and explain such oddities as the silent h in ghost and the mysterious disappearance of kempt, gormful, andruly (and yes, you really can be gruntled). She will explore the lexicon of the past to fill some of today’s linguistic gaps – such as the frenzied fit of tidying we all do just as guests are about to descend (that’s a scurryfunge).

Alongside such forgotten stories you will hear Susie’s selection of the funniest moments from her 25 years on Countdown and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, as well as some startling results from eavesdropping on a group of waiters.

The evening will include some of Susie’s favourite words from Newbury and the region, with an opportunity for the audience to offer their own. In fact, she’ll be welcoming any questions about word origins, usage irritations, the dreaded impact of Americanization and the very future of our language in her very own ‘word surgery’.

Discover the origins of words with Susie Dent on Thursday 20 September at 7.45pm. Tickets £19.50. To book tickets please visit the Corn Exchange website, www.cornexchangenew.com or call the Box Office on 0845 5218 218 (calls cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s standard access charge).