Dictionary of Word Origins

Dictionary of Word Origins

by John Ayto
     
 

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The average English speaker knows approximately 50,000 words-almost 25 times more words than there are stars visible in the night sky. The Dictionary of Word Origins uncovers the often surprising connections between words. In more than 8,000 entries, the dictionary reveals the origins of and links between words like beef and cow, secret and crime, flour and pollen,…  See more details below

Overview

The average English speaker knows approximately 50,000 words-almost 25 times more words than there are stars visible in the night sky. The Dictionary of Word Origins uncovers the often surprising connections between words. In more than 8,000 entries, the dictionary reveals the origins of and links between words like beef and cow, secret and crime, flour and pollen, imbecile and bacteria, plankton and complain. Written in a clear and informative style, the Dictionary of Word Origins shows how English today has developed from its Indo-European origins and how diverse influences on the language have intermingled. This highly browsable reference also looks at the many new words and coinages that enter the language every year.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
An alphabetical listing of some 8000 English words with their histories, this book omits other dictionary features such as pronunciation, part of speech, and, in most cases, definitions. It is interesting to explore the sometimes surprising groups of related words; under doctor , for example, we are referred to 11 other entries, ranging from dainty to paradox . The date of a word's first appearance in the language is indicated by century or by ``OE'' for Old English. The author is English, so Americans will miss some typically American words such as raccoon , ranch , or stoop (porch). Like Craig M. Carver's recent (and smaller) History of English in Its Own Words ( LJ 6/15/91), this book is not a reference acquisition for any library owning the OED or Webster's unabridged, but it makes interesting reading for the public library patron or the linguistics or English student.-- Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
Booknews
The first US edition of a 1990 British book (changes, if any, are not delineated). The selection includes common English words as well as less common ones that have intrinsically interesting or instructive life histories. No pronunciation. Arcade is a subsidiary of Little, Brown. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780747545705
Publisher:
Bloomsbury UK
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Pages:
590
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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