Adam Jacot de Boinod

About Adam

Adam Jacot de Boinod

Adam Jacot de Boinod is a British author, most famous for his works about unusual words. He has written three books, the first two (The Meaning of Tingo and Toujours Tingo) looking at words that have no equivalent in the English language, and his latest book (The Wonder of Whiffling) looking at unusual words in English.

He worked on the first series of the television panel game QI. His research on the show involved him reading an entire Albanian language dictionary and noting down any words that he found interesting. He formed the idea that there are 27 different words for moustaches and 27 words for eyebrows in Albanian, including, vetullan ("very bushy eyebrows"), vetullor ("slightly arched eyebrows") and vetullosh ("very thick eyebrows"). There was also a question asking the meaning of the word vetullushe, which was claimed to be "a goat with brown eyebrows".

After leaving QI, de Boinod began to investigate other languages, examining 280 dictionaries and 140 websites. This led to the creation of his first book in 2005, The Meaning of Tingo, a book featuring words which have no equivalent in the English language, "tingo" being a word from the Pascuense language of Easter Islandmeaning, "to borrow things from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left". He then wrote up a follow-up book entitled Toujours Tingo in 2007.

Special Interests

Adam knows a lot about:

  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Cricket
  • Italian Renaissance Art

Adam's Special Recommendations

Adam says "Don't leave London without without having seen the River Thames from at least five different vantage points."

10Best Lists by Adam Jacot de Boinod

Mmmm, Chocolate

Discover some of the world's best chocolate in these sweet-tooth destinations.