© 2016-2020 Haggard Hawks

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Haggard Hawks was founded by the author and language blogger Paul Anthony Jones in 2013. 


Paul has had a longstanding interest in language, having read a dictionary cover to cover one childhood Christmas (yes, he’s that kind of person). And that nerdish interest eventually led to him studying for a degree in English language—and then a Masters in linguistics, specializing in historical linguistics, psycholinguistics, and the etymology of place names—at the University of Newcastle.


After his studies, Paul compiled his popular word origins guide Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons (2013). To help promote the book online, Paul had the foresight to start tweeting etymological tidbits from the book in an account named @HaggardHawks. From its first tweet back in December 2013, HH has now amassed more than 62,000 followers and continues to grow month on month.

Further books followed: a second etymological guide, Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire (2014); Word Drops (2015), a fact book based on the HH Twitter feed; The Accidental Dictionary, a guide to 100 words whose meanings have undergone drastic change (2016, US 2017); and a yearbook of forgotten language, The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities (2017, US 2019). Paul’s latest book, Around The World In 80 Words—a unique guide to words whose origins lie on the world map—was published in the UK in October 2018, with a US edition coming in March 2020. An eighth title, The Cabinet of Calm, is also due in Spring 2020.

After spreading its wings to Facebook and a tie-in blog (now consolidated online here), the full HH network also includes a series of 50 language videos on YouTube, and two bespoke Instagram accounts, one tied to a weekly Word of the Week column in the Byline Times. 

And there’s a lot more still to come...

About Us


Paul Anthony Jones



Paul is an author and language writer based in Newcastle, who founded the Haggard Hawks Twitter feed in 2013. He continues to run and compile material for the HH Twitter and Instagram feeds, the HH newsletter and blog, and fronted all 50 videos on the HH YouTube channel. He is also the co-host of the new trivia podcast, Yes or BS, and contributes to the Yes or BS blog here. He has been known to run out of a room because there was a bee in it, and keeps a terrifying pottery cat’s head money-box on his window, sill full of copper. (Seriously, it’s terrifying.)


Over the past five years, HH has made more than a few friends online who all help to make the internet a more interesting place. Like what we do? Take a look at any of these lovely people: