Interesting words for interesting children

Non-fiction, Gifted and Talented children

What will gifted and talented children grow up to be if they’re not shown more than the ungifted and untalented? This book is a window on the world for anyone who wants to know things in a graduated series of small essays. It is not a dictionary of oddities but a journey of maturity from 8 to 12 onwards. How people think, why they act daft, how to research and organise ideas, why to be sceptical, how to use knowledge as power, why it’s important to use knowledge against ignorance. Many of the concepts are straightforward but still way beyond what school and parents would be expected to deliver. There are practical experiments, essays to write then use to prise-open resources reserved for ‘the few’, counter-intuitive prove-it tasks and challenges that might only be achievable with top-university level resources. (How do you weigh a particle of flour?)

Being a boffin can be hard for a ‘different’ child at school. Not only does this book deal with that in the playground, but soon makes it irrelevant as achievement takes-over from attitude. Young boffins will not just know ‘long words’ but be able to talk about them in a wide context.

There’s some science, fun with words, social history, mathematics, history of ideas and ways of looking at the world. The subjects are typically presented with an ‘edge’ of ‘what does this mean to you?’. ‘Zeitgeist’ is an opportunity to research without using the Internet, write an essay then see who is in a position to sensibly comment on it. ‘If the spirit of the age’ isn’t important then what is? ‘Gestalt’ is a scary word but an extremely useful tool for boffins explaining things.

Exactly how do you dissect the salivary gland of a mosquito? Of course this book is so full of subjects we can’t explain them in-situ. Why would we when the Internet has instantly available background, details and further links? Our job is to provide instructions for how to build a boffin from a kit of bits from a very large and interesting world.

Awaiting a publisher

There’s 100 topics starting with A – Accoutrements. It’s not a reference book or encyclopedia although it is full of interesting information. Each illuminates hidden corners of how the world, and the people in it, work. There’s a constant theme of being inquisitive and intelligent is a worthwhile goal and will soon allow the reader to soar above petty bullying. There’s more: They will acquire knowledge far beyond the standard fare of even good schools.

Achievement through investigation makes you a boffin, somebody special and different who ‘shuts mouth before speaking’, and spends every day learning, connecting, inventing and knowing their achievements won’t be understood by most people.


If the titles words sound interesting you’ll have to wait until a book publisher comes along so you can unwrap them.

Foreword Second alphabet Foreword again Vowels EXTRAS
Part one Antagonist Dear Boffin Apparatus Tenbyten
Accoutrements Britches Anthropomorphic Alternatives Boffin’s guide to writing essays
Boffin Camelopard Borborygmus Alternatives again Mathematics
Cirrus Debacle Confabulation Pyramid of four Es AMPEA
Dirigible Efficacious Discomodicated Energy Weighing
Ennui Fossick Euthanasia Existence Boffins
Fatuous Guttersnipe Fast Economy Colourful and
useful words
Germane Heliocentric Gubernatrix Enjoyment Follow-ups
Hubris Ipso-facto Harmonium Examples,
evidence and
Iconic Jizz Icknield Way If I were U
Jerry-built Khazi Jasper Observation
Kleptomaniac Lazy tongs Klondike Organisation
Lampoon Monty Hall
Leidenfrost Opposition
Monotheism Nocturnal Mazeppa Opportunity
Noblesse-oblige Obscurantist November Y(why)
Oratory Perculius Obsolete
Pusillanimous Quinine Procrastinate
Stalactite Reticule Quixotic
Turgid Scintilla Rococo
Unctuous Tracheotomy Stories
Vortex Umpire Taxonomy
Wombat Vernier Uninteresting
Xylem Wart Vintner
Ye X marks the spot Whimsy
Zeitgeist Zymurgy X-rays
Your world