Why is Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins ‘eleventy-one’ years old? Is Leominster named after lions or nuns? What is the origin of the idiom ‘to face the music’? As one of our foremost experts on the English language, Professor Crystal often finds himself travelling down curious and quirky linguistic side roads. This travelogue follows his explorations of the language’s history through encounters with modern-day speakers across the globe, from Anglesey to Zimbabwe.